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Drawing Lab Samples During a Transfusion

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The topic came up recently regarding specimen collections from patients while the patient is receiving a transfusion. In general the phlebotomists will not draw a patient for any lab test while they are being transfused, but is this an unnecessary practice? Does anyone have any information or a reference that addresses this? We have no policy on the subject, but it seems to be what is currently being practiced here.

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After reviewing a few journal articles, we recommend that in most non-acute cases, the hemoglobin one measures 30 minutes after a transfusion of RBCs is going to be accurate enough.  Obviously, the necessity of "real-time" lab values are important if the patient is a more acute case and the physician is trying to keep ahead of the situation.


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