Transfusion-associated circulatory overload (TACO) Case Studies

Transfusion-associated circulatory overload (TACO) is one of the major causes of death associated with transfusions. Since 2011, an international case definition has been used to help clinicians diagnose and report cases of TACO. However, many cases did not meet the 2011 criteria. In 2017, the NBA established a Haemovigilance Advisory Committee (HAC) working group to develop case studies to raise awareness of TACO, due to possible under-reporting of TACO events in Australia.

In 2018, the International Society of Blood Transfusion, the International Haemovigilance Network, and the AABB (formerly American Association of Blood Banks) developed and validated a revised definition of TACO (published in 2019) in order to contribute towards increased awareness and mitigation of TACO. The definition used for reporting to the National haemovigilance program in Australia is determined by the Australian Haemovigilance Minimum Data Set.

In 2019, the HAC working group finalised two TACO case studies developed by staff from the Lifeblood and the Blood Matters Program. To view the Blood Matters also developed swing tags and posters on TACO identifying at-risk patients, how to prevent TACO, what to monitor, and how to treat TACO, which can be found on their website.

Urgent queries regarding TACO should be directed to your health service organisation and following internal adverse event reporting processes. If you have any other comments or queries regarding the case studies, please email