Blood Bank Program

Veterinarian Information: Blood Bank Program

Here at AMVS, we understand the importance of having readily available access to blood products for your patients.  We have a blood donation program set up, and we are always working to recruit more donors.
We have blood products available to you and your clients and are available for any questions regarding transfusing the product.  Here is more detailed information regarding blood products and transfusion.

Blood Product Reference…And helpful hints 

Packed Red Blood Cells – Canine


  • There is no need to warm the unit, unless you are going to be doing a rapid infusion for acute blood loss.
  • Allow the unit of blood to warm to room temperature (20°C, 70°F).  
  • Once the unit is taken out of the refrigerator it has to be used within 4 hours, this is including transfusion time.  After four hours, that unit is considered contaminated with bacteria.
  • Make sure that you blood type the recipient before you administer the blood product.  It is unlikely that the recipient will have a reaction on the first transfusion, but they may on the second transfusion.  We try to keep A-Negative blood in the hospital, but there is always the chance that we will only have A-Positive .

  • Always use the blood administration set that is provided with the unit of blood.  It has a micro filter on it, to ensure that no mini clots are put directly into the patient.
  • Always follow expiration date on the unit of red cells.  

Fresh Frozen Plasma

  • Always use the blood administration set provided.
  • To thaw, place frozen unit into a bowl of luke warm water, avoid submerging the administration port.
  • Once thawed, the unit has to be used within four hours, after that allotted time, the unit is considered contaminated with bacteria.

Transfusion (pRBCs/FFP)

  • Once the unit is ready for transfusion, hook up the blood administration set.
  • Avoid use any type of fluid pump, it may lyse the cells.
  • Always start with a TPR/MM/CRT on your patient, that way you can notice any subtle changes in your patient and take action on any type of reaction.
  • Now you are ready to start the transfusion, start with 1 drop every 10-15 seconds.  Keep this rate for at least 15-20 minutes.
  • During this time, take a TPR/MM/CRT every 5-10 minutes, noting any changes and alerting the doctor if there are any.  
  • If there is a reaction, you will most likely see it in the first 15 minutes of starting the transfusion, possibly with an increase in temperature, tachycardia, or hyperventilation.
  • If your patient is handling the transfusion well, you can speed up the transfusion.  Increase rate to 1 drop/5-10 seconds.  Keep in mind you want your transfusion to be finished within 3.5 to 4 hours.  
  • Please know that you can call AMVS at any time during the transfusion for questions.  The staff can assist with troubleshooting problems that arise.

Please contact our office for more information and to learn more about how our Blood Donation Program can benefit your patients:
Kelly Walker, CVT