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Labeling Blood Components with Compatibility Info


VirginiaBG
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Hello! Our transfusion service is getting ready to switch computer systems in the next year, so it's a good time to make improvements to our current processes. We use plastic fasteners to attach paper tags with a compatibility label to the unit of blood, plasma, etc. It is a cumbersome process, especially when we are in a hurry tagging multiple units at one time for a stat. I've heard of some blood banks placing a compatibility label directly to the unit of blood, but I would worry about it falling off or covering up unit labels. How is everyone else labeling their units with the compatibility information? Thanks in advance!

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21 minutes ago, VirginiaBG said:

Hello! Our transfusion service is getting ready to switch computer systems in the next year, so it's a good time to make improvements to our current processes. We use plastic fasteners to attach paper tags with a compatibility label to the unit of blood, plasma, etc. It is a cumbersome process, especially when we are in a hurry tagging multiple units at one time for a stat. I've heard of some blood banks placing a compatibility label directly to the unit of blood, but I would worry about it falling off or covering up unit labels. How is everyone else labeling their units with the compatibility information? Thanks in advance!

I think those who do this would put the compatibility label on the back, so that no other labelling is covered up.  The adhesive used should be tested to ensure that the label does not fall off between the temperatures at which the blood is stored or at the temperature at which the blood is transfused (and, in my experience, it is harder to get the labels off than it is to get a senior member of staff to buy a round of drinks!), but you do have to ensure that the adhesive is of a type that does not leech through the plastic into the unit itself (seriously - there are some that do)!

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We use 4x4 inch adhesive labels printed out of Meditech.  We purchase them from PDC Healthcare, I believe, and they are FDA approved for use on blood bags.  Removing them is usually not an issue if the label hasn't been on for more than a few hours but if they are returned and placed back in the refrigerator overnight, then they can be nearly impossible to remove intact.  The adhesive seems to really like the cold, as well as certain platelet pheresis bags.

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Our BB system, HCLL, prints a single sheet, 8.5 x 11 transfusion slip which has a sticky label as part of the slip.

We remove the sticky label, place it on a "toe tag" and use the plastic loop-tee-loo things to attach to the blood bag.

The paper does not accompany the unit most of the time, we are on Epic and tx documentation occurs there.

We only use the paper if we are in a downtime situation, or blood is going to an offsite location or the transfusionist is not able to document in Epic.  

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If you wind up sticking with paper - it might be faster if you use tagger guns to attach your paperwork..  These are the same type of tagging guns that are used for clothing labeling.  You can get both the guns and the tagger tails from a place like Staples (Monarch SG Tag Attacher).

Hold up and punch through the paper 1st and then go through one of the little holes on the unit (or very carefully, through some of the outside edge on the unit above the interior area) and then press the trigger.  Works fine for us and stays with the unit.

One word of caution; the needles - when new - are extremely sharp.  I always take a new needle outside and dull it down by swiping it back and forth over some concrete walkway first, prevents finger sticks.  Sounds gruesome, I know, but we have no troubles with the needles (after dulling) and have never harmed a unit.

Edited by carolyn swickard
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Digi-Trax offers blood compatibility labels with FDA approved adhesive that will not leach into the bag.  The adhesive is quite durable and labels will not fall off the bag.  For more information, please visit our web site at www.digi-trax.com or contact us at 847-613-2100. We’re happy to provide you with the right solution.

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On ‎3‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 3:25 PM, David Saikin said:

WE use a compatibility label:  Patient Name, MR#, birthdate, ABORh.  Unit Nmber, ABORh, Product code and compatibility statement.  Label can be stuck on or attached.

We stick a label on the donor tubing (permanent) and also attach the form (temporary) from which the label was detached.

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1 hour ago, goodchild said:

 

We switched to labels this year, from a 2-part continuous feed paper form. Love it.

 

We are still using the two part tractor feed slip with tags.  We use the bottom part "unit ready slip"  to tube to the floors to let them know the unit is ready.  How do you notify the floor the unit is ready?

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32 minutes ago, R1R2 said:

Not to hijack the topic but does your label print after you issue in the computer or before?

The Report of Blood Transfusion form (with detachable labels) is printed immediately after crossmatch results entry.  Blood components (Report of Blood Transfusion form is attached prior to storage) are retrieved from storage when RN arrives with Request for Blood Component form.

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18 hours ago, mollyredone said:

 

We are still using the two part tractor feed slip with tags.  We use the bottom part "unit ready slip"  to tube to the floors to let them know the unit is ready.  How do you notify the floor the unit is ready?

We use Epic and it updates when blood products are ready. It shows the kind of product, unit number and status (available for issue, issued, returned to stock, or transfused). The floor is required to look this up themselves. 

We only contact the floors during system downtimes or if a location does not have epic access. 

Edited by MaryPDX
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1 hour ago, MaryPDX said:

We use Epic and it updates when blood products are ready. It shows the kind of product, unit number and status (available for issue, issued, returned to stock, or transfused). The floor is required to look this up themselves. 

We only contact the floors during system downtimes or if a location does not have epic access. 

Meditech also updates when the products are ready.  How do the nurses notify you when they want a unit?  We know they want one when they send the unit ready slip through the tube system, and then we tube the blood product to them (except for ER, who sends a tech up to pick up the unit)

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In Epic, there are 2 orders that need to be placed for inpatients, a prepare order and a transfuse order. 

The prepare order tells us what they want and how much. The transfuse order tells us they want  us to send the product (and it allows them to scan the product they're giving into Epic). 

Both orders (as well as all test orders) print out on a network printer in the blood bank. 

We have a pneumatic tube system, so the products get tubed to the proper location. For orders that need to be sent in a box of ice, we use our hospitals transporters. 

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We notify ED/OR/Oncology by phone when blood is made ready. We expect every other department to use their nursing status board, which has an indicator for blood being ready. When a nurse wants blood they send a request slip through the pneumatic tube system (or in person).

We print the labels after the blood is crossmatched/assigned. We also have two orders set up in Meditech. The order for blood bank to set up the blood and the order for the nurse to transfuse it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
2 hours ago, R1R2 said:

Would it be acceptable to issue in the LIS and then tag the unit?  Would that be breaking any regulatory requirement?

See my download in the library "Blood Issue Cause and Effect".  The process starts with a tagged (form attached immediately after crossmatch) blood component removed from storage.  

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