Special Requirements for Transfusion Laboratory


Any mistakes or omissions in the labelling of samples and request cards can lead to deleterious effects on the patient. In order to avoid any such possibility, users of the laboratory are urged to comply with the following safety check procedures.

  1. Positive patient identification must be made either by direct questioning, reference to a patient's hospital identity bracelet or, for unconscious patients, the use of a unique numbering system.
  2. Requests for group and/or cross-match must be in a special blood transfusion tube which is then clearly labelled by hand with all available patient identification (name, address, date of birth, hospital number). PRE-PRINTED IDENTIFICATION LABELS SHOULD NOT BE USED. Sample tubes must not be labelled in advance.
  3. The accompanying request form MUST BE completed by a doctor using capital letters with all the available patient identification (name, address, date of birth, hospital number).
  4. Clear instructions as to when, where and why blood grouping or cross-matching is being requested must be included in the spaces indicated on the request form.
NB - Incorrectly or incompletely labelled samples/request forms will not be accepted by the Transfusion Laboratory. FULL IDENTIFICATION IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.


  1. Group and Save Requests Samples are ABO and Rhesus (D) grouped and screened for atypical antibodies. The plasma may be saved for up to 7 days depending on the patient's transfusion history.
  2. Cross-Match Requests ABO and Rhesus (D) compatible donor units are selected and cross-matched for named patients and held for that patient until 9.00 am on the following day after the date for which the request was made. If your patient has been transfused, a fresh sample for further cross-matching will be required after 3 days. Please allow as much time as possible to complete grouping, antibody screening and/or cross-matching, in case atypical antibodies are encountered. The hospital operates a Maximum Surgical Blood Ordering Schedule . Under normal circumstances, the Transfusion Laboratory will cross-match according to the MSBOS, unless clear reasons for doing otherwise are provided by the requesting clinician. For further details, please contact the laboratory.
  3. Accident and Emergency Samples An A/E number is only acceptable for identification purposes on requests for cross-matching of blood for IMMEDIATE transfusion, not for group and save serum samples.

    Transfusion Two Sample Rule

    To improve patient safety, The British Committee for Standards in Haematology 2012 guidelines state that a second transfusion sample should be requested for confirmation of the blood group for a first time patient prior to transfusion. This is implemented for this Trust.