Consent for Transfusion: Is It Informed?
Holland, Paul V.
Transfusion Medicine Reviews. 1997 Oct; 11(4): 274-285.
Informed consent for transfusions presumes that the patient has been "informed," meaning they have been given sufficient information to make an intelligent choice, and that they "consent," meaning that the patient is competent and free to consent. Although this may be oral or written, the latter is preferable for documentation and legal proof. This may either be as a chart note, or form. In any case, the informed transfusion recipient should be given a description of the procedure in lay terms, told of the expected benefit, including the outcome without the transfusion, and what reasonably foreseeable adverse consequences may occur. The individual should have the opportunity to ask questions of the physician performing the informed consent process. There should be time to provide the information and a discussion; and the patient must be able to comprehend all of this. If this process is performed by the physician talking to his/her patient, then, the patient is likely to be informed about, and consent to, elective transfusions. Once obtained and documented, that consent should be presumed to be valid with a course of therapy for transfusions. If some event significantly changes some aspects of the information on which the patient relied in consenting and now should be aware of, then, the patient should again give consent for transfusion, after being informed of this new information.
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