Citrate Toxicity Calculator for Dogs

Those of you who have ever participated in canine blood donation might have encountered a situation when the blood flow through a sampling line has significantly slowed down or even completely stopped, and despite your best efforts, you had to abort the mission. As a result, the blood bag may end up being half full and contain only 200-250 ml of blood. Since the majority of commercially available donor bags contain 63-70 ml of citrate-based anticoagulant, they are designed to be filled up with 400-450 ml of donor blood to maintain a 1:7 – 1:9 citrate-to-blood ratio. If not, the citrate-to-blood ratio goes up, which creates a risk for citrate toxicity during a blood transfusion. In this situation, a clinician or technician may elect to waste this blood product and send this donor home since collecting another full bag of blood will not be safe for the donor animal. On the other hand, there is an extreme shortage of blood products in veterinary medicine, and, if possible, any waste should be avoided.  In this blog post, I will give you a tool that may help you decide on whether a blood product with a high citrate-to-blood ratio should be discarded or safely given to a prospective recipient. 

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