JPAC Joint United Kingdom (UK) Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation Services Professional Advisory Committee

Consent for Blood Transfusion

It is a general legal and ethical principle that valid consent should be obtained from a patient before they are treated.

In October 2020, the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) published a report ‘Patient Consent for Blood Transfusion’. This report updates SaBTO’s 2011 recommendations on patient consent for a blood transfusion, following stakeholder consultation in June 2020, and includes the following recommendations:

  • Valid consent for blood transfusion should be obtained and documented in the patient's clinical record by the healthcare professional.
  • Patients who have a been given a blood transfusion and were not able to give informed and valid consent prior to the transfusion are informed of the transfusion prior to discharge and provided with relevant paper or electronic information.
  • There should be a modified form of consent for long term multi-transfused patients, details of which should be explicit in an organisation's consent policy.

In response to one of the other recommendations, the UK and Ireland Blood Transfusion Network led development of resources for patients and healthcare practitioners to assist the consent process – see associated pages.

Useful links:

BSH Blood Administration Guidelines

General Medical Council Consent Guidance

Department of Health Reference Guide to Consent for Examination or Treatment