Since the major cause of fatal transfusion reactions is ABO incompatibility due to clerical error, absolute identification is essential. All specimens must be clearly labeled with the patient’s name, unit number, date, time and initials of the phlebotomist. The sample tube must be labeled at the bedside. The primary demographic information (full name and unit number) must be verified by checking the patient’s wristband.

Routine typing, screening for antibodies, and crossmatching are performed using EDTA blood samples. For adults, a large lavendar top tube (6 ml) filled with blood and a  completed EPIC or Blood Bank requisition (BB1) is essential. Please check to be sure the requesting physician’s name is legible, the diagnosis/surgical procedure is present, the time the blood is needed is indicated, and the phlebotomist has signed the requisition and the specimen label. For most patients, a new sample is required every three (3) days.

Anticoagulated blood (EDTA), large lavender top, is required for the Direct Coomb’s test. If cold agglutinin disease is suspected, sample may be collected and transported in warm sand. When special studies such as antibody identification require further samples, the Blood Bank staff will contact the requesting physician. The patient’s nurse or the phlebotomy team is contacted for a new sample.

A separate requisition (BBK1) or EPIC form must be completed with the patient’s name, unit number, requesting physician and component request must be submitted each time blood or pooled components are requested. At the start of the transfusion, two responsible professionals identify the recipient by reading his wristband, and comparing the information to that on the component itself and the Blood Tag, and sign the Blood Tag attached to the unit. Verify at the completion of the transfusion that no adverse reactions took place by signing the Blood Tag in the proper place. The front copy is placed in the patient’s chart, and the second copy is returned to the Blood Bank for a permanent laboratory record of the transfusion.