Blood Bank

Introduction

The Blood Transfusion Department provides a range of tests, which are available over the three sites, Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital.
To maintain the performance of laboratory testing at the required high level the department participates in external quality assurance schemes. In blood transfusion the knowledge that the laboratory can perform blood groups and detect antibodies correctly and incompatibilities in serological crossmatching are not being missed is vitally important in the safe and timely provision of blood products.

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Blood Bank - Sample Rejection Criteria

SAMPLE INTEGRITY

Poorly venepunctured blood samples can dramatically affect the results of a test. Some of the more common errors are listed below:

  • Insufficient sample – appropriate volume blood tubes are supplied with. Insufficient samples will mean an inability to test and delay in results and provision of blood products.
  • Haemolysed sample - if the blood sample has been venepunctured using needle and syringe and a small gauge needle is used to pierce the lid of the Vacutainer tube, haemolysis may occur especially if the blood is forced into the tube by pushing the plunger. Vacutainer tubes contain a vaccuum that will naturally draw sufficient blood into the tube. Change to a wider gauge needle before piercing the Vacutainer lid. Haemolysis will prevent the sample from being tested as assays are light transmission dependant and haemolysis in the plasma will give false positive results.
  • Samples delayed in transit – Delays in receipt of the sample in Blood Bank will mean a delay in testing and as a result delay in provision of blood products. Significant delays of may mean the sample is no-longer suitable for testing.
  • Clotted samples – Samples not taken directly into the Vacutainer and mixed sufficiently may clot. Once clotted the red cells cannot be tested for the blood group and the sample will be unsuitable for testing.
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Transfusion Reactions

If a transfusion reaction is suspected, stop the transfusion immediately.  Follow the trust protocol (internal users only) and inform blood bank.   All units which have been used (partially and fully) must be returned to the blood bank along with:

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Storage of Blood Products and Wastage

Storage and Wastage of Blood

It is essential that blood and blood products are stored correctly to minimise any adverse incidents from occurring:

  • Blood must only be stored in authorised blood refrigerators
  • Blood transfusions should be commenced no longer than 30 minutes from the time the unit was taken from the Blood fridge. 
  • Fresh Frozen plasma must be used within 4 hours of thawing if stored at room temeparture or within 24 hours if stored in an authorised blood fridge.
  • Platelets should be kept agitated in Blood Bank until ready for use.

Avoidable wastage of blood and blood products will generate a 'Wastage Report' for the ward to complete and return to Blood Bank.  This is monitored by the Hospital Transfusion Committee.

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HTA licence number is 12366

Protection of Personal Information – Laboratory Medicine comply with the Trust Data Protection Policy and have procedures in place to allow the Directorate and it’s employees to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and associated best practice and guidance.

The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database http://www.heftpathology.com/frontpage/test-database.html.
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235

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