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Blood on Helicopter

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We are being asked to supply blood for a helicopter. My question is, how do we properly account for the unit(s) if a patient is picked up from an accident scene, transfused in flight, but taken to another hospital? The patient would never be registered at our facility so would we then make a “transfer” of the unit(s) to the receiving hospital? I’m just trying to figure out how to keep track of the blood since it’s from our inventory.

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My lab is also partnering with a transport transfusion service and I've wondered the same thing.

  1. Perhaps you'd need to register the pt regardless just to document the use of units or,
  2. The chopper should only have blood on it from the particular hospital that it would transfer pts. or,
  3. Operate like you suggest and make transfers to that service (however, how do you document proper transfer physically?)

I would say if you're transfusing in the chopper (sort of a middle ground, under the jurisdiction of your hospital), you need to document that a pt was transfused under your control, just at a satellite location. The pt being moved after transfusion to another facility doesn't mean Facility #2 has to deal with the units/transfusion... does that make a sort of sense for sake of discussion? :giggle:

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Agree with the comment above.  While the patient is in your chopper with your blood, it's your patient.  Somehow you must be be charging for the ride and any other care in flight.  And like any unit transferred with a patient to another facility, you will have to follow up to finish the transfusion record.

Scott

 

 

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We supply blood to 5 helicopters around this area.  If blood is given in flight or if the units are wasted because they are out of temperature for any reason, the charge is passed on to the helicopter service.  We document that the unit was given to a patient and then we change the status of the unit to a Final Status in the computer.  Apparently, the helicopter service charges a flat rate to the patient no matter what is used, so the charge for the blood is just part of that service.

Anne

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I will add some info here to clarify our situation further:  We do not have a helicopter. It is a local company that wants us to provide the blood to them and administration wants us to do this. If our blood is on the chopper but they pick up a patient and take him/her to another hospital, the patient would not be registered here and there would be no record of us giving the blood. Possibly we could have documentation from the helicopter personnel with patient info and the unit they gave and we could have some sort of quick-registration process on our side so we could at least show the patient received the blood in an emergency situation. I guess asking the crew to bring a sample back to us would be asking too much, huh?!

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We supply blood to a helicopter service with a contract with our hospital system.  We put Safe-T-Vue indicators on all of their units.  They provide us a copy of their in-flight chart when they transfuse anyone not coming to our hospitals.  If the patient doesn't come to us but has an account in our HIS, we create a bogus registration in our BBIS using a defined format account number.  If they don't exist in our HIS, we create a complete registration manually in our BBIS using a defined format for MR# etc.  Then we emergency issue the product in our BBIS and handle it just as we would those patients who expire before a specimen is drawn etc.  We charge the helicopter service for the products which they include in their flat fee to the patient.  We maintain the final disposition records for any lookbacks etc.  If we got a market withdrawal or lookback, we would notify the helicopter company to follow up with the recipient.  That duty is at least vaguely covered in our agreement with them, I believe.  We tell the helicopter crew to return any unused products to us and not to leave them at the receiving hospital but this isn't perfect.  We sometimes transfer products on paper to the receiving site if we can document handling sufficiently. It doesn't work easily if the receiving hospital doesn't use the same blood supplier.

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On 9/18/2019 at 3:17 PM, Mabel Adams said:

We supply blood to a helicopter service with a contract with our hospital system.  We put Safe-T-Vue indicators on all of their units.  They provide us a copy of their in-flight chart when they transfuse anyone not coming to our hospitals.  If the patient doesn't come to us but has an account in our HIS, we create a bogus registration in our BBIS using a defined format account number.  If they don't exist in our HIS, we create a complete registration manually in our BBIS using a defined format for MR# etc.  Then we emergency issue the product in our BBIS and handle it just as we would those patients who expire before a specimen is drawn etc.  We charge the helicopter service for the products which they include in their flat fee to the patient.  We maintain the final disposition records for any lookbacks etc.  If we got a market withdrawal or lookback, we would notify the helicopter company to follow up with the recipient.  That duty is at least vaguely covered in our agreement with them, I believe.  We tell the helicopter crew to return any unused products to us and not to leave them at the receiving hospital but this isn't perfect.  We sometimes transfer products on paper to the receiving site if we can document handling sufficiently. It doesn't work easily if the receiving hospital doesn't use the same blood supplier.

Appreciate this information Mabel. We are not currently providing blood for our contracted air service except for transfers for our patients, but I can see the day coming where this might change. What you've described would work very well for us I think.

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