The Use of Blood Products

Tonya, Kendal, Cameron, Kamasha, Bridgett

Groups That Refuse Blood Products

Jehovah's Witness

The Church of Christ (Scientologist)


Descriptions of Maternal/Child Practice

  • Typically, pregnant women do not need plasma or platelets in a transfusion. Often times they solely need red blood cells. The function of a red blood cell (RBC) is to provide the tissues with oxygen.
  • There are two main reasons why a woman might need a blood transfusion during pregnancy. A hemoglobin estimate can be performed in order to determine how anemic someone might be. Anemia MUST be treated before labor! The other reason that a blood transfusion might occur during pregnancy is if the client hemorrhages. Hemorrhaging is bleeding excessively. This bleeding can lead to anemia and can cause many problems for the baby and the mother. A miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy might result in a hemorrhage early on in pregnancy.
  • In order to reduce the possibility of postpartum hemorrhaging, the physician might order a drug called oxytocin (Pitocin). Oxytocin promotes uterine contractions and also decreases the possibility of hemorrhaging
  • Red blood cell transfusions for infants are normally issued in bags or syringes and are administered by an infusion pump. Infants typically receive type O blood due to the reduced risk of complications regarding Rh factors. Infants also receive blood transfusions for anemia's and hemorrhaging.

Nursing Implications

Nursing Implications- Blood Transfusion

  • Tell the patient what the procedure consists of including both risks and benefits.

  • Monitor site of infusion for any redness or heat.

  • Monitor the rate of administration, and be aware of the patient’s condition in order to determine the rate.

  • Observe the patient before and during the procedure.

  • Check vitals such as blood pressure, temperature and heart rate during transfusion.

  • Have the appropriate equipment on hand for administering the product and in case a negative reaction were to occur.

  • Explain the importance of blood products as it relates to your body’s physical needs.

  • Explain to patient the signs and symptoms of anemia such as tiredness, weakness, fainting.

  • Provide reasons why patient may need blood products during pregnancy such as in the case of a miscarriage, antepartum hemorrhage, during or after birth.

  • Inform the patient of safety factors performed regarding screening of the blood.

  • Respect the patient’s wishes if one may refuse blood products.

Pros & Cons of Cultural Practice


  • Can prevent patient from becoming extremely ill.

  • Can prevent the patients from dying.

  • Can prevent patient from becoming severely anaemic.

  • All blood products are tested for blood type and any diseases, so the risk for complications with the blood is extremely low.


  • Use of blood products may go against the patient personal and/or religious beliefs.

  • Minor side effects: headache, rash/itchiness, and fever. These side effects are easily treated with medication and usually go away within one day.

  • Major side effects: difficulty breathing, severe headache, or an abrupt drop in blood pressure that may be considered life threatening.

  • Under conditions of a massive transfusion or multiple transfusions, the patient could experience severe pregnancy complications.


  • Bielefeldt, S., & DeWitt, J. (2010, April 11). The rules of transfusion: Best practices for blood product administration - American Nurse Today. Retrieved October 11, 2015.

  • Blood transfusion, pregnancy and birth. (2015). 1-6

  • Ioneil. (2015). Native Americans. Guidelines for Healthcare providers Interacting with American Indians, 9.
  • Islam Questions and Answers. (n.d.) Retrieved October 11, 2015, from