Master Transfusion Reactions with Picmonic for Nursing RN

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Transfusion Reactions

Transfusion-IV Reaction
Picmonic
Transfusion reactions can range from mild to severe and vary in their types. It is important to be aware of the different types of reactions and assess any patient carefully, especially during the initial administration of blood products. The first line management in any transfusion reaction is to stop the infusion, be sure to maintain an IV line with normal saline, and notify the health care provider immediately.
8 KEY FACTS
Acute Hemolytic
Acute-angle with Hemolysing RBCs

These reactions usually develop within the first 15 minutes. They result in chills, fever, lower back pain, flushing, tachycardia, tachypnea, hematuria/oliguria, decreased BP, and possibly acute renal failure. A hemolytic reaction may also lead to DIC and death.

Febrile, Non-Hemolytic
Fever-beaver with Nun RBCs

The most common type of reaction. These reactions most classically appear with a sudden fever rising more than 1 degree and chills, along with headache, flushing, anxiety, vomiting, and muscle pain.

Mild Allergic
Mild Allergy-alligator

This reaction is minor and only requires a temporary stop of the infusion. A mild allergic reaction manifests as flushing, itching or pruritus, urticaria or hives.

Anaphylactic
Anvil-axes

An anaphylactic reaction requires having epinephrine ready for injection and manifests quickly as anxiety, urticaria or hives, difficulty breathing often with wheezing, bronchospasm, hypotension, shock, and possible cardiac arrest.

Circulatory Overload
Circulatory-system Overloaded

This occurs when a volume of blood is administered that is larger than the circulatory system can handle. Circulatory overload manifests with difficulty breathing, cough, dyspnea, pulmonary congestion, adventitious breath sounds, headache, hypertension, tachycardia, and distended neck veins.

Sepsis Reaction
Sepsis-snake

This occurs when bacteria have contaminated the blood products and is also known as septicemia. Patients will often have a rapid onset of chills, high fever, warm skin, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe hypotension, which may lead to shock.

Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI)
Trolley Lungs

This may occur as white blood cells release cytokines which increases capillary leakage. This increases the amount of fluid in the lungs causing noncardiogenic pulmonary edema. The pulmonary fluid causes frothy sputum, dyspnea, and eventually hypoxemia and respiratory failure. Patients may also have a fever and hypotension.

Massive Blood Transfusion
Massive-amounts of Blood Transfusion-IV

Electrolyte disturbances are the major concern for patients who receive large volumes of blood via transfusion. Citrate is a compound added to blood products to prevent coagulation prior to administration. In large volume transfusions citrate toxicity can lead to transient hypocalcemia. While blood products are stored, the red blood cells may leak potassium and when infused cause hyperkalemia. If the blood products are not warmed prior to administration, the patient may experience hypothermia.

Unlock all 8 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

JOIN FREE

Take the Transfusion Reactions Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

START QUIZ NOW

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Nursing (RN) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 900,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Nursing (RN) student study app.

Picmonic for Nursing (RN) covers information that is relevant to your entire Nursing (RN) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer your NCLEX®-RN, Hesi, ATI, TEAS test, Kaplan exams, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Nursing (RN) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.