Context: Serious noninfectious complications are far more likely to occur than viral disease transmission from blood component transfusion.
Objective: To compile a comprehensive list of the noninfectious risks of transfusion, examples of published risk estimates, and summaries of recent information regarding cause, prevention, or management of noninfectious transfusion risks.
Data sources: Information was obtained from peer-reviewed English-language medical journal publications since 1990.
Conclusions: Early complications, although potentially more serious, usually occur less frequently (<1 in 1000 transfusions) than late complications, which often affect more than 1% of recipients. Areas of active investigation and discussion include acute hemolytic reactions, transfusion-related acute lung injury, red cell alloimmunization, platelet transfusion refractoriness, and transfusion immunosuppression. Continued effort toward research and education to promote recognition and prevention of noninfectious complications associated with blood components is warranted.