Can blood or plasma transfusion cause hypocalcemia?

Updated: Aug 08, 2019
  • Author: Manish Suneja, MD, FASN, FACP; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Answer

Symptomatic hypocalcemia during transfusion of citrated blood or plasma is rare, because healthy patients rapidly metabolize citrate in the liver and kidney. However, a clinically important fall in serum ionized calcium concentration can occur if citrate metabolism is impaired due to hepatic or renal failure or if large quantities of citrate are given rapidly, for example, during plasma exchange or massive blood transfusion.


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