In the U.S., a working group of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute approved a common definition in 2005 so that clinicians and blood banks could diagnose and report the syndrome. TRALI is defined as new acute lung injury occurring during or within six hours after a transfusion, with a clear temporal relationship to the transfusion.
The NHLBI group added that acute lung injury temporally
associated with multiple transfusions can be TRALI, because each unit
of blood or blood component can carry one or more of the possible causative
agents: antileukocyte antibody, biologically active substances, and other
yet unidentified agents (Toy P, et al. Crit
Care Med. 2005;33 721-726).
Anne Paxton is a writer in Seattle.