If time allows, all blood products should be warmed gently to room temperature. If preferred, products can be warmed to body temperature (37°C) using a warm water bath. Water must be monitored using a thermometer as it must stay below 37°C. Alternatively, you can use a commercial water bath. The product should be protected in a plastic zip lock bag to prevent contamination of the ports.

Plasma products must be handled with care as they are very brittle when frozen and thawed slowly. Plasma products should be given through a filter to facilitate the removal of any debris that may be present. These filters can be an integral part of the blood administration sets or attached to the extension line (filters are available to order from us) if delivering the plasma transfusion from a syringe via an intravenous extension set (common with small dogs). Peristaltic type infusion pumps may be used. Please check the suitability of the pump for blood administration and the compatibility/accuracy of the giving set with the manufacturer prior to use. We recommend a new administration set or filter and extension set is used for each new unit of plasma.

An initial infusion rate of 0.5-1.0 ml/kg/hr should be used for the first 15-30 minutes. During this time the patient should be monitored for any evidence of a transfusion reaction. If no reaction is seen, this can be increased to a standard rate of 5-10ml/kg/hr. Slower rates of 1-2ml/kg/hr are recommended for patients with circulatory compromise. Any plasma remaining in the bag or syringe 4 hours after breach or withdrawal into a syringe (and remaining at room temperature) must be discarded. Plasma units can be separated into smaller volumes if the time over which they are to be given will exceed 4 hours (see blood component separation guidance). 

The standard recommended dose of FFP, FP or Cryo-S for management of coagulopathies is 10-30ml/kg. The patient’s coagulation should be closely monitored as the required dose may be more or less than the standard dose. To manage hypoalbuminaemia, the recommended dose is 30ml/kg given as a continuous rate infusion. Higher rates are typically associated with greater increases in albumin. Patients should be monitored closely for signs of over infusion.

The recommended dose for Cryo-P to manage coagulopathies is 1 unit per 10kg bodyweight. An initial infusion rate of 0.5-1.0 ml/kg/hr should be used for the first 15-30 minutes. During this time the patient should be monitored for any evidence of a transfusion reaction. If no reaction is seen this can be increased to a standard rate of 5-10ml/kg/hr. Slower rates of 1-2ml/kg/hr are recommended for patients with circulatory compromise. Any Cryo-P remaining in the bag or syringe 4 hours after breach or withdrawal into a syringe (and remaining at room temperature) must be discarded. Cryo units can be separated into smaller volumes if the time over which they are to be given will exceed 4 hours (see blood component separation guidance). 

Blood typing prior to administration should be standard procedure in cases where red cells are required at a later date. Cross matching is not required prior to plasma administration unless dogs have received multiple plasma transfusions in the past and reactions have been recorded.

Our transfusion monitoring record can be found at the bottom of this page. We recommend you print and use this during the transfusion.

To calculate the amount of plasma units needed, please see our canine transfusion calculator.