Retrospective evaluation of unexpected events during collection of blood donations performed with and without sedation in cats (2010-2013)

Kerry Doolin, Sophie E Adamantos, Daniel L Chan, Karen R Humm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
316 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives – To review the feline blood donor records from a single center and to compare blood donations that were performed with and without sedation.

Design – Retrospective observational study from 2010 to 2013.Setting – University teaching hospital.

Animals – Client-owned healthy cats enrolled in a blood donation program.

Interventions – None.

Measurements and Main Results – Blood donation was performed 115 times from 32 cats during the study period. Seventy donation events were in unsedated cats and 45 donation events were in sedated cats. For each donation the anticipated volume of blood to be collected, the actual volume of blood collected, the sedation protocol if used, and any unexpected events (UEs) in the peri-donation period were recorded. UEs were coded into 6 categories; movement during donation, donor anxiety, inadequate blood volume obtained, jugular vessel-related UEs, additional sedation requirement, and evidence of cardiovascular or respiratory distress. The Fisher’s exact test was used to compare the frequency of UEs between sedated and unsedated donations. Unexpected events were recorded in 54 of 115 donations, with 61 donations having no UEs. In the donor population movement was reported as an UE in 0% (0/45) cats that donated under sedation and 34.3% (24/70) cats that donated unsedated (P<0.001). Donor anxiety was reported as an UE in 4.4% (2/45) of the sedated group and 20.0% (14/70) of the unsedated group (P=0.014). Unsedated donation did not lead to an increased likelihood of inadequate donation volume, jugular vessel-related UEs or cardiac or respiratory distress. In the sedated group, 17.8% (8/45) donations required additional sedation.

Conclusions – Movement during donation and signs of donor anxiety were more frequently reported in unsedated blood donations compared to sedated donations. However, these were considered minor issues, to be expected in unsedated cats being gently restrained. Therefore unsedated 24 feline blood donation for transfusion is a viable alternative to sedation or anaesthesia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-560
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
Issue number5
Early online date10 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2017


  • feline blood transfusion
  • donor morbidity
  • sedation
  • feline transfusion medicine


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