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1 June 2017 BLOOD PRODUCT TRANSFUSIONS IN GREAT APES: A RETROSPECTIVE REVIEW OF 12 CASES
Alicia Hahn, Ginger Sturgeon, Joseph Rossi
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Abstract

Although the administration of blood and blood products can be lifesaving, transfusions in exotic species are less common because of the lack of knowledge of a species' blood groups, the availability of species-specific donors, and possible adverse effects. Recently, blood groups were elucidated in great apes; however, few reports have been published regarding actual transfusion situations in these species. This information is critical because poorly executed transfusions can compromise already weakened patients or result in the death of the recipient. In 2014, a retrospective survey of U.S. zoos housing great apes received 45 of 67 responses; from which, 12 transfusion cases in great apes were identified, including Sumatran orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus sumatraensis, n = 4), chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes, n = 1), and western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla, n = 7). These animals, ranging from birth to 31 yr, received intravenous transfusions of whole blood, packed red blood cells, or human albumin. Overall, animals that received transfusions for anemia because of chronic illness or blood loss survived, but those individuals with concurrent life-threatening issues did not survive. No adverse reactions related to the transfusion occurred, except in two orangutans given human albumin.

Copyright 2017 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Alicia Hahn, Ginger Sturgeon, and Joseph Rossi "BLOOD PRODUCT TRANSFUSIONS IN GREAT APES: A RETROSPECTIVE REVIEW OF 12 CASES," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 48(2), 461-465, (1 June 2017). https://doi.org/10.1638/2016-0178R3.1
Received: 1 March 2017; Published: 1 June 2017
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KEYWORDS
Anemia
blood products
great ape
reaction
transfusion
whole blood
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