At a recent meeting, the need for TATs for our UKAS test repertoire was discussed. It appears that some sites have set this for routine G&S tests as 24hrs. Would there be a narrower timeframe for in-patient tests or casualty?
Question:
a) If we use 24hr TAT, is this stated in the User Guide and accepted by the HTC, or how do we decide on these?

b) Would a 24hr TAT for an in-patient G&S be acceptable?
Consider the following scenario: Patient is admitted and sample taken but still untested after 10hrs. The patient suddenly deteriorates or requires urgent blood or surgery. During the course of testing, atypical antibodies are detected, which results in cancellation of the op or placing the patient at risk of having to use emergency /probably incompatible units. Can we justify a 24hr TAT in this case?

c) For a Neonatal DAT- again, would a 24hr TAT be acceptable considering the clinical implications of hyperbilirubinaemia/ haemolysis and potential for kernicterus brain damage?

We have a 4hr TAT for G&S and DATs but this was set years ago without monitoring. We are now able to extract this data but find we canít achieve the 95% level set so will have to review this realistically. Staffing on late/ night and weekend shifts is the main reason, and this evidence could be used for our capacity plans too.

Just some thoughts, and be good to discuss how you set your TATs and any suggestions appreciated.

Many thanks