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Smith G.A.,Blood Transfusion Laboratories | Gopal-Patel J.,Blood Transfusion Laboratories | Joseph J.V.,Blood Transfusion Laboratories | Hobson A.,Blood Transfusion Laboratories | Clarke K.,Blood Transfusion Laboratories
British Journal of Biomedical Science | Year: 2015

Stocks of red blood cells (RBC) are held to ideally match supply and demand; hold too great a stock and unnecessary wastage occurs; too low a stock results in delay or lack of blood for the patient. Blood is a precious resource and its supply needs to be managed effectively. The aim was to identify how RBC units are wasted and propose laboratory-based reduction measures that would not compromise the clinical requirements of the patient. Wastage of RBC was investigated using a 'dashboard' query of a laboratory information management system. By employing service improvement tools, proposals were made to reduce unnecessary RBC waste while ensuring an adequate supply to the patient. The efficacy of those proposals was examined using the same dashboard to compare similar periods before and after their introduction. The reduction in RBC wastage for all groups during an eight month period (December to July) was from 6.4% (5.3% non-AB or B RhD-positive) pre-implementation to 4.4% (2.5% non-AB/B RhD-positive) post-implementation. Group O RhD-negative wastage reduced from 10.4 % to 4.4% after introduction of waste-saving proposals. However, there was an increase in staff time required to introduce the changes and in associated Group and Screen testing (3.4 to 3.8 per unit issued). RBC wastage was significantly reduced (P<0.0001) by 32.8% (52%, non-AB/B RhD-positive), saving approximately 225 RBC units per annum. Financially, increased associated costs did not negate the savings made by the measures introduced.

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