Is it necessary for the transfusion service to place labels on units after donor retyping?
A blood bank colleague from the Southeast asks if it is necessary for a transfusion service to place ABO/Rh confirmation labels on red blood cell units received from a blood supplier after ABO/Rh confirmation testing. If you can show testing was done via computer results, is this sufficient?
Editor’s note: AABB Standard 5.12 states that before transfusion, the ABO type of each RBC component and the Rh type of units labeled Rh negative shall be confirmed by a serologic test from an integrally attached segment. Records must be retained for 10 years (Reference Standard 6.2), but there is no mention of a requirement to place a label on the unit.
The following comments have been received in response.
ADDENDA Sept. 7, 2012
- A Transfusion Service Supervisor at a regional medical center in the South adds that her blood bank computer system assigns a status to units as they progress through testing. When a unit is entered into inventory it is at 'entered' status; once the retype is completed the unit is automatically upgraded to 'available' status. The system is configured so that units in 'entered' status may not be used for crossmatching, therefore the blood bank does not re-label the units. Units are segregated in the refrigerator so as to be readily distinguishable. If a unit that has not been retyped is selected inadvertently for crossmatching, the user is advised by the blood bank computer system that the unit cannot be used.
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