Apparatus

Red cells are given via a blood-giving set containing an in-line 170-pm filter to remove occasional debris. A corresponding platelet-giving set is indicated for platelet infusions. Microaggregate filters (40 pm) have been used in large-volume transfusions to prevent pulmonary complications but, on the basis of current evidence, their benefit is unproven. Microaggregate filters are used in the arterial line of an extracorporeal circuit, where a decrease in postoperative morbidity and cerebrovascular emboli has been shown. Blood warmers are indicated when a large volume of red cells is given in a short time or where the patient is known to have clinically significant cold agglutinins. In addition, they are appropriate in critically ill patients who would otherwise use extra energy in warming the infused blood.

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