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Safe and appropriate use of blood and blood products

Orhan Sheriff, ScientistGoulburn Valley Health has governance systems in place for the safe and appropriate prescribing and clinical use of blood and blood products.  Blood and blood products are received, stored and transported safely throughout Goulburn Valley Health. 

All blood and blood products are received from Australian Red Cross Blood Service and stored appropriately at GV Health Pathology Blood Bank.  GV Health Pathology is a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited facility.  All blood storage refrigeration and freezer systems are Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved and meet AS3864; all are monitored and maintained according to the standard.

Total red blood cell waste is monitored monthly as a key performance indicator.  This information is provided to GV Health Pathology by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS).

To minimise unnecessary wastage of red cells GV Health Pathology has reviewed the required inventory stock levels.  This review has resulted in successfully decreasing the amount of red cell waste whilst safely meeting clinical demand.  GV Health has maintained waste rates for red cell products below the 7% target since April 2014.

The Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion (ANZSBT) and GV Health recommend that the safest time to receive a blood transfusion is during daylight hours.  Out of hours blood product transfusions may increase the risk to patients due to decreased staffing overnight, reduced ability to monitor the patient during transfusion, respond to and manage any transfusion reactions.  Unless the blood transfusion is deemed to be an emergency, routine or non-urgent transfusions must not be commenced after 1800hrs or before 0730hrs. Compliance with out-of-hours transfusion guidelines is a key performance indicator.