Adverse effects

1. Allergic reaction: this may cause fever, urticaria rigor, or rarely anaphylaxis. It is usually due to contaminating white cells or plasma proteins and can be prevented by premedication with intravenous hydrocortisone and chlorpheniramine and filtration.

2. Platelet refractoriness due to HLA alloimmunization, or non-HLA antibodies. This can also be prevented by filtration. If it occurs the patient may require HLA-matched platelets, but this should be discussed with the hematologist.

3. Transmission of infection.

4. After transfusion graft versus host disease following engraftment of donor lymphocytes in immunocompromised recipients. This can only be prevented by gamma irradiation (2500 cGy) of units prior to transfusion.

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