Changes in Blood Administration

Blood transfusions are a high-risk point for patients. Discussion at EPP council heightened awareness that blood transfusions should be considered a “liquid transfusion” given the implications/possible complications of receiving another person’s blood. Order sets have changed, encouraging providers to order a single unit and reevaluate prior to ordering a second unit.

New Epic functionality interfacing with the blood bank system now allows for scanning the patient arm band, the blood type, and product number on the unit of blood to verify that the blood will be administered to the correct patient. This replaces the second person verifier at the bedside, removing one possible human factor error in the blood administration process.

This new functionality has also saved time for staff, both in nursing and laboratory personnel time, as there are no longer blood lock bags and blood codes. New technologies afford efficiencies and safer practices. This is a transition in practice. Initial concerns were voiced by a few about removing the second person verifier; there were also positive comments from multiple inpatient nurses that this change made the process quicker and simpler. A PCT thought it was nice to pick up the blood, give it to the nurse, and then move on to help another patient instead of waiting to be a second verifier in Epic.

Back to the November 2019 issue of the Nursing Newsletter

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