Canine Whole Blood is indicated for parenteral replacement of red blood cells to carry oxygen to tissues in order to sustain tissue and cellular viability. This service is essentially equivalent to packed red blood cells in providing the capacity to treat both acute (e.g. traumatic or surgical hemorrhage, acute autoimmune anemia) and chronic ( e.g. internal and external parasitism, bone marrow failure, chronic autoimmune anemia) blood loss anemias. Canine Whole Blood has the additional benefit of providing coagulation factors, and some white cells and platelets, but only when freshly collected and used immediately or refrigerated for not more than 24 hours prior to use. This service should therefore be reserved only for patients with special acute needs for platelets or coagulation factors as well as the acute loss of blood from massive hemorrhage.
The volume of whole blood required to sustain a canine patient will depend upon clinical assessment of the patient’s status by the attending surgeon or clinician. The minimum amount needed to stabilize the patient should be given in life-threatening cases of immune-mediated hemolytic disease.
For routine use however, packed red blood cells are preferred over whole blood for several reasons. Packed red blood cells stored in nutrient solution have an extended shelf-life of 42 days versus 28 days for whole blood. For cases not requiring replacement of plasma proteins and coagulation factors, packed red blood cells avoid the risk of fluid volume overload for compromised patients and the potential of adverse immunologic reactions to plasma proteins. Red blood cells are also less likely to cause febrile nonhemolytic transfusion reactions. Furthermore use of red blood cells conserves a source of fresh-frozen plasma for patients needing this blood service for a variety of other clinical needs.
For surgical procedures, there is no need to transfuse a patient to achieve a PCV within normal limits either before or after surgery because a moderate degree of hemodilution is considered beneficial in most situations. Read More: Canine Whole Blood
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