SIM Scenario Exchange

Blood Transfusion Reactions

Contributed on March 13, 2015, last updated June 29, 2022.



Deborah Schuh, RN, BN, Durham College
Marie McEwan, RN, Durham College

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This scenario was developed to enhance the learning experience of the RPN student during semester 3 lab related to Blood Administration. The focus is to recognize signs and symptoms of blood transfusion reactions, react approptriately to manage event while using effective communication.
The students are first briefed using a worksheet that includes important patient information: history, lab results, vital signs. Student then watch a video that was developed:
Video Scenario starts:
Hi, thanks for covering, I am starving! Pt is 40 yrs old, G 5 P4-she had a significant PPH and is now receiving her unit of blood. Blood was infusing at 50 mL..I completed her 15 min VS-everything is normal‚ĶI just increased the rate of infusion to 140 mL so that it will be completed within the 2 hour time frame but I will be back before then‚Ķ… I think that is all‚Ķthanks for covering my break. Oh, wait, I did see some redness on her left arm but I think it is from the BP cuff.
During video, the students use worksheet to write down important aspects of video related to communication, vital signs etc
Student are then debriefed using guided questions.

Learning Objectives:

1. Identify the risks to patient in receiving blood transfusion
2. Describe signs and symptoms of adverse transfusion reaction(s)
3. Outline the steps of safe blood administration including appropriate assessments and monitoring.
3. Discuss the clinical management of an adverse transfusion reaction,
4. Discuss the communication process including the reporting required when an adverse transfusion reaction occurs (SBAR)

Simulation Modality:





Schuh D, McEwan M. Blood Transfusion Reactions. Simulation resource published by Simulation Canada; 2015. Available from

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Target Learners




Practical Nursing


Continuing professional development
Undergraduate / post-secondary

Fields / Disciplines:

Obstetrics & maternal-child

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