Liver Transplant Processes for the Transfusion Service


Liver transplantation requires coordination of the Transfusion Service TS, Liver Transplant LTS , and the Blood Donor Center BDC to prepare blood components for this massive transfusion setting.


  1. Whoever receives notification of a possible liver transplant should ensure that ALL of the following senior staff are also informed:
    1. Head, Transfusion Medicine
    2. Coordinator, Donor Recruitment
    3. Supervisor, Transfusion Service
  2. Transfusion Service Supervisor will arrange transfusion service staffing as needed to cover the surgery period and immediate post-operative period.
  3. The current, up-to-date inventory must be calculated.  The following minimum stock must be reserved:
    1. Twenty (20) packed RBCs
    2. Twenty (20) FFPs—-leukodepleted and pathogen-inactivated
    3. Three (3) platelet pools or apheresis doses (each ≥ 2E11 absolute number of platelets)—leukodepleted and pathogen-inactivated.
    4. The Medinfo Liver Transplant Protocol automatically orders all the above.
  4. Complex needs:
    1. If the patient has clinically significant antibodies, confirm the availability of the requested number of antigen-negative/compatible units.
    2. The Head, Transfusion Medicine, or the covering transfusion medicine consultant on-call will contact the liver transplant team to discuss the feasibility of proceeding after assessing the inventory of antigen-negative units.
    3. Only the transfusion medicine consultant can approve the use of antigen-incompatible RBCs in conjunction with the liver transplant team.
  5. Donor Center should increase recruitment/production to meet the anticipated usage as needed.
  6. When the procedure is confirmed:
    1. Crossmatch the RBCs by the appropriate technique according to our algorithms (i.e. computer/electronic, immediate-spin, or full AHG).
    2. Thaw the FFP:  the FFP is valid for FIVE days after thawing for use for the transplant patient or other patients with coagulopathy.
    3. If more than the above number of units is needed, HGH Transfusion Service must inform the Donor Center senior staff (Head, Donor Center; Administrative/Technical Director, and Coordinator, Donor Recruitment) to arrange for additional donations.