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NHS trust gets new blood identification system into circulation

Date: February 10, 2014

Category: Industry news

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) has started using a new system to match patients’ identification wristbands with the blood samples they require.

Any mismatches between the patient and sample will trigger an alarm and, at the same time, an alert is directed to the laboratory at the hospital via an automatic system as the trust looks to weed out instances of patient misidentification, which UHCW’s Janine Beddow describes as “a widespread problem within healthcare organisations”.

Beddow, who is Transfusion Nurse Lead at the trust, says that misidentification poses serious health risks to patients, so it's hoped that the new system can enable medical staff to transfuse blood more efficiently and safely – especially since the trust transfuses upwards of 100 units on a day-to-day basis.

A ward manager at the trust, Claire Stokes, admitted that nurses took some time to get to grips with the system, but it has now become a vital part of operations. She adds that patient feedback has been positive as well, with staff saying the scanners bring them assurance.

Stokes’ ward is one of five within the trust currently using the system, which will eventually be integrated throughout the site. A target of 1,300 fully trained up staff members has been set before paper-based patient and sample monitoring systems are ditched.

Blood Track TX is one of the solutions provided by American company Haemonetics, which provides a selection of high-tech products and services aimed towards blood transfusion professionals, ranging from software to consultancy.