We have a process to extend the crossmatch that has worked for several years. It is complicated and involves 3 departments. Everything has to be exactly right. The patient comes in to pre-test. We have a form that is put with the pretest packet. On the top part of the form is the patients info along with today's date and expected date of surgery. The nurse asks the patient two questions- have you been pregnant or transfused in the last 3 months? The nurse signs her credentials and sends the form to us along with the specimen.
We perform a T/S and write our info into a section for the BB. There is a spot on the form that we put whether we need a second type on the morning of surgery. We put a sticker on top of the tube to signify the tube has to be saved when specimens are thrown away. Two days before surgery, the night shift faxes the form to surgery holding so they can put the forms in the charts. The morning of surgery, the nurse scans the form to see if they need to collect the second specimen and they ask the patient if they have been pregnant or transfused since pretest. Nurse signs form and faxes to us and sends the 2nd specimen if required.
We get the form, do the second ABORH, find the original specimen, look at form for all signatures, etc. If all the stars are alligned, we order a specific test in the computer which extends the crossmatch for 3 days, answer the specific things in the computer and perform an electronic crossmatch if the physician wanted blood set up. If the patient had an antibody, we request a new specimen on the morning of surgery to do a new T/S and crossmatch the units we antigen typed before the patient arrived. Works great. Most are only T/S done 3-5 days before surgery with the occasional cancelled surgery that tries to get in at the end of the month.
We tried to do 14 days but extended to a month (30/31 days hard stop) because the physicians kept pushing the envelope. We did 30/31 days because it is easy to see if the surgery was canceled for too long. If there is any question about ANYTHING, a new specimen is collected and we start over. It works well for us and we have had very few problems after the nurses realized it helped them