Skip to main content

Feline Red Blood Cells

This page contains information on Feline Red Blood Cells for veterinary use.
The information provided typically includes the following:
  • Feline Red Blood Cells Indications
  • Warnings and cautions for Feline Red Blood Cells
  • Direction and dosage information for Feline Red Blood Cells

Feline Red Blood Cells

This treatment applies to the following species:
Company: Animal Blood Resources International


The Package Insert is a supplement to the blood and component container labels, as the space on those labels is very limited.

No MSDS is required for these products. The Package Insert is supplied to inform the user of the product use and conform with applicable government regulations. This document should be kept on file and readily available to personnel involved in the use of these products.

Blood and blood components are biologic products and, in the form of cellular products, living feline tissue intended for use in feline patients at the discretion of the attending veterinarian. Professional judgment based on clinical evaluations determines the selection of components, dosage, the rate of administration and decisions in situations not covered in this general statement.

WARNING. In spite of serological testing, the risk of transmitting infectious agents to the patient is present. Careful donor selection, care, and available laboratory tests do not eliminate the hazard. This is especially true regarding feline viruses that do not currently have highly successful diagnostic tests and vaccination agents available. Also, septic and toxic reactions can result from transfusion of bacterially contaminated blood and components. Such reactions are rare, but may be life threatening. In addition, blood components may contain certain immunizing substances other than those indicated on the label. For example, Plasma may contain red blood cells and platelets as well as plasma. Therefore, the Package Insert as a whole or in part cannot be considered or interpreted as an expressed or implied warranty of the safety or fitness of the described blood or blood component when used for their intended purpose. Use of specific blood components as indicated by the individual patient’s clinical condition is needed to prevent inappropriate transfusion.

Autologous transfusion techniques (such as intraoperative salvage and pre-surgical donation) should be considered whenever feasible in the perioperative setting, to reduce the risks of disease transmission and immune reactions from homologous donations.



Blood and components described in the Package Insert have been collected from feline donors which are maintained in isolated, controlled access colonies. The blood type of each donor is indicated on the product label. The colonies receive on site health care, and all animals are current on immunizations to include Rabies, Rhinotracheitis, Calici and Panleukopenia. Blood from donors maintained in controlled access colonies generally carries a lower risk of disease transmission than blood from volunteer donors. These risks for feline infectious agents cannot be eliminated under the current state of the art and it must be considered that a risk of disease transmission may be present.

Testing of Donor Blood

Testing of the donor’s blood is required before an animal is admitted into the colony as a donor and annually thereafter. All colony donors must test serologically negative for FeLV, FIV and are screened for Haemobartonella felis. The label on the container indicates whether the donor is feline blood type A, type B or type AB.


Labels contain the following information:

1. The name of the product.

2. The temperature range in which the component is to be stored.

3. The contents or volume (standard contents, i.e., as prepared according to the Package Insert, is assumed unless otherwise indicated on the label or in Package Insert supplements).

4. ABRI’s name, address, telephone number.

5. California Biologics registration number, if applicable.

6. The expiration date of the blood component.

7. The donor (serial) identification number.

8. Blood type of the donor

9. Statement regarding the Package Insert.


The following general instructions pertain to Whole Blood and all the components described in the Package Insert.

● The intended recipient must be properly identified before the transfusion is started.

● The plastic blood container must not be vented.

● Blood and blood components must be administered through an appropriate blood filter. A blood administration set with standard (170-260 µ) clot filter is recommended when administering volumes greater than 50 mL. An ABRI Feline Administration set or 18 micron blood filter (HEMO-NATE® blood filter or equivalent) is recommended for volumes less than 50 mL.

● Before use, bags of blood or components should be gently rocked to thoroughly mix contents.

● No medications or solutions may be added to or infused through the same tubing with blood or components except 0.9% Sodium Chloride, Injection (USP).

● Lactated Ringer’s, Injection (USP) or other electrolyte solutions containing calcium should NEVER be administered concurrently with blood or components collected in an anticoagulant containing citrate. All of the products described below contain and are collected into anticoagulants which contain citrate.

● Hemolysis may become evident during the storage of components containing red blood cells. Blood and components should be inspected for bacterial growth. If upon visual inspection the fitness of a component is questioned because of, for example, presence of hemolysis, a significant color change in the contents of the blood bag as compared to the tubing segments, floccular material, cloudy appearance or other problems, the component should not be used. A slight pink tinge to the supernatant due to some free hemoglobin may be present and is acceptable for transfusion. Call Animal Blood Resources International at (800) 243-5759 for further evaluation.

● When thawing frozen products in a water bath, care must be taken to prevent contamination of entry ports. The use of watertight protective plastic over wraps (such as freezer bags) is recommended.

● Blood components have been prepared by techniques that aid in preserving sterility up to the time of expiration. If the container is entered in a fashion that could contaminate the contents of the container for any reason the component expires 4 hours after entry if maintained at room temperature (20° - 24° C), or 24 hours after entry if refrigerated (1° - 6° C).

● Blood and components may be warmed to no more than 37° C during transfusion, if warming is clinically indicated for situations such as hypothermia, blood exchange or massive transfusions.

● Unless otherwise indicated by the patient’s clinical condition, the rate should be slow, no greater than 0.11 mL / pound of body weight for the first 30 minutes of the transfusion. The patient should be observed during this period since some life threatening reactions occur after the infusion of only a small volume of incompatible blood. If a transfusion reaction occurs, the transfusion should be discontinued immediately and appropriate therapy initiated. The infusion should not be restarted.

● Completion of the transfusion should be prior to component expiration or within 4 hours, whichever is sooner. If blood or components cannot be infused in 4 hours, they should be divided and stored appropriately in the refrigerator until needed.

A crossmatch should be conducted before every transfusion.

● The blood type of both the donor and the recipient should be known before transfusing whenever possible. When the blood type of the recipient is not known, a crossmatch must be performed. First time transfusions with donors and recipients of unknown blood types are NEVER considered safe.

● Blood transfusions should never be considered safe, even under optimum conditions, and should not be given unless there is no other acceptable treatment.



The component Red Blood Cells (RBCs), is prepared by centrifugal or gravitational separation of the red cells from the plasma. The RBCs so processed yield approximately 15 mL± of red blood cells. The total fluid volume will be a minimum of 25 mL Platelets and white blood cells are nonviable in stored blood products. RBC components are prepared from Whole Blood collected in ACD-A. A red cell nutrient solution is added back to the RBCs. This extends the shelf life up to one week beyond the shelf life of the whole blood from which they are derived. The expiration date is indicated on the label.


This component increases the oxygen carrying capacity of the recipient’s blood by increasing the circulating red blood cell mass.

Feline Red Blood Cells Indications

Red Blood Cells is the component of choice for virtually all patients with a symptomatic deficit of oxygen carrying capacity. This component may be used to help restore blood volume following significant hemorrhage. Hypovolemia without significant red cell mass deficit is best managed with volume expanders.


Do not use Red Blood Cells when anemia can be corrected with specific medications. See “Whole Blood, Contraindications.”

Side Effects and Hazards

Side effects and hazards of Red Blood Cells (including disease transmission, bacteremia or endotoxemia, and hemolytic transfusion reactions) are similar to those for Whole Blood. However, the incidence of allergic reactions, circulatory overload and metabolic complications is lower because removing plasma reduces volume and the quantity of metabolites and antibodies. The risk of disease trans-mission remains the same.

Dosage and Administration

The dosage and administration of Red Blood Cells are similar to those for Whole Blood. This product does not require the addition of sodium chloride to improve viscosity. 10 mL of red cell nutrient, AS-3, has been added back to the red cells. This provides increased shelf life and viscosity. Do not add lactated ringers or any other fluids with this product.


A reference list is available upon request from Animal Blood Re-sources International, or on our website,

Animal Blood Resources International

(800) 243-5759

Summary Chart of Blood Components


Major Indications


Not Indicated For

Special Hazards

Rate of Infusion

Red Blood Cells

Symptomatic anemia

Restoration of oxygen carrying capacity

Pharmacologically treatable anemia, Coagulation deficiency

Infectious diseases; septic, toxic, allergic, febrile reactions; circulatory overload

As patient can tolerate but less than 4 hours

© Copyright 2013 - Animal Blood Bank, All Rights Reserved

CPN: 1398004.3

P.O. BOX 609, STOCKBRIDGE, MI, 49285
Telephone:   800-2HELPK9 (800-243-5759)
Fax:   517-851-7762
THIS SERVICE AND DATA ARE PROVIDED "AS IS". DVMetrics assumes no liability, and each user assumes full risk, responsibility, and liability, related to its use of the DVMetrics service and data. See the Terms of Use for further details.

Copyright © 2023 Animalytix LLC. Updated: 2023-05-29