Fatal delayed haemolytic transfusion reaction in a patient without previous transfusions but with an obstetric history of 13 pregnancies.

Research paper by Evgeni E Chubar, Naiel N Bisharat

Indexed on: 06 Nov '17Published on: 06 Nov '17Published in: BMJ case reports


Delayed haemolytic transfusion reaction is a rare, life-threatening complication of blood transfusion that has been typically described among patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) due to alloimmunisation induced by their exposure to red blood cell antigens through recurrent transfusions. We report the case of a patient who suffered from fatal delayed haemolytic transfusion reaction (DHTR) occurring 1 week after blood transfusion. Indirect antiglobulin testing confirmed the presence of anti-Kell antibodies that were absent in the pretransfusion sample. The patient did not receive blood transfusions in the past, but her obstetric history was remarkable for 13 pregnancies. Although DHTR occurs more commonly among patients with SCD, this type of reaction can occur in any patient who is able to mount an immune response. We would to like to draw the attention of physicians to this rare and potentially lethal complication of blood transfusion, especially in grand multiparous women.