Patients with cancer are often dependent on blood transfusions during treatment. Frequent vital sign monitoring during transfusions may interrupt sleep and the patient’s ability to ambulate or participate in unit activities. Relying heavily on vital sign findings may also overshadow unmeasurable symptoms of transfusion reaction. The aim of this evidence-based practice initiative was to examine the evidence regarding the optimum frequency of vital sign monitoring for patients undergoing stem cell transplantation receiving blood products and to amend policy and practice to be consistent with the literature.
At a Glance
- Patients with cancer frequently require transfusion support during treatment.
- Inconsistencies exist in recommendations for the frequency of vital sign monitoring during transfusion.
- Examining best practice guidelines suggests that less frequent vital sign monitoring may be appropriate if coupled with thoughtful physiologic assessment.