Hi just looking some advice on pre-transfusion sample timings.
A change has been suggested in our lab that I am uneasy about. The proposal is to make all samples suitable/valid for only 72hrs regardless of whether or not the patient has been transfused i.e. samples will be held as valid for 72 hrs then a new sample will be required if the patient requires transfusion.
The idea is that this will make things easier for lab staff as any sample over 72 hrs old will not be suitable regardless of transfusion history or pregnancy. It is thought that this will also avoid potential errors where the request form is not completed properly e.g. patients transferred from other hospitals could have had a recent transfusion that we are unaware of ; or a recent pregnancy is not recorded on the request form.

I agree, this would help reduce such errors. However I think these errors are already pretty rare and my additional concerns are;
  • That we are going to start a practice outside the BCSH guidelines that no one else is doing or deeming necessary
  • This will increase the number of samples / workload for blood bank
  • It may cause confusion for clinical staff. Worst case scenario we have a member of staff or locum who assumes we hold samples for 7 days like everyone else and takes someone to theatre without a valid transfusion sample.

Is anyone else doing this?
Does anyone have an opinion on this?
I seem to be the only voice against this here, are my concerns unwarranted?

Any advice will be welcome.