Towards safer blood transfusion practice
The object of this study was to determine the current state of transfusion practice at a large metropolitan hospital in South AU8tralia, with a view to making recommendations to improve safety. Transfusion practice was monitored using a questionnaire and a concurrent audit design. Patients identified as having received a packed red blood cell transfusion in the previous 24 h, were selected by a random number generator. Questions included those about blood pack identification, documentation of the transfusion process, and patient observation. The results of this audit indicated that areas of documentation, primarily patient consent, blood pack administration times and patient monitoring required re-evaluation. Recommendations to improve practice were made based on these results. This is an ongoing service provided by the hospital, which has proven invaluable in identifying deficiencies in transfusion practice in order to improve patient care.