Enquiries: 01305 251150

Updated 12 April 2021

Contact details

Transfusion Laboratory
01305  25 4320/4329

Transfusion Laboratory Manager
01305 255933

Transfusion Practitioner
01305 255774

Urgent requests

The department is open from 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday.  

Urgent requests for blood and blood components must be telephoned.

All requests for Blood or Blood components must be accompanied by the transfusion request form.

Please call the Hospital Transfusion Laboratory or duty Biomedical Scientist for all urgent requests, giving as much notice as possible so staff can organise their workload and assign appropriate priority. A full crossmatch will take at least 40 minutes from receipt within the laboratory.

In extremely urgent critical situations non cross-matched O Rh negative blood is available for immediate use from refrigerators at:

  • North Wing issue fridge (2 units)
  • Maternity / Labour suite (2 units)

Or call Code Red to implement the Massive Haemorrhage Protocol.

The Hospital Transfusion Laboratory must be immediately notified when the units are used so that stores can be maintained, audit trails of use are available and a record of the recipient should be made in the patient's hospital notes.

Cross-matched blood will be reserved for the day it is requested and will be automatically returned back to stock if unused within 24hrs of issue.

Two sample rule

With effect from 1 August 2017, the Blood Bank introduced the two sample rule for requests for blood and blood components (blood, fresh frozen plasma, cryoprecipitate, platelets, granulocytes).

What is the two sample rule?
The Blood Bank need to ensure that there are two distinct samples from a patient that have generated the same blood group from both samples. If the Blood Bank have seen the patient before and already have a historic blood group then you only need to make a request for group and save or cross-match as you normally do. If the patient has no previous records in Blood Bank then you must repeat the group and save or cross-match with a second sample. A member of the blood Bank team will inform you if a second sample is required.

Why is this rule being introduced?
Wrong blood in tube (WBIT) is a 'never event' - it should not happen. However, on occasions it does. The consequences of transfusing somebody with blood of the incorrect blood group are very serious and can lead to death.

WBIT is a SHOT (Serious Hazards of Transfusion) reportable incident. The two sample rule is a national guideline to improve patient safety when receiving transfusions.

How does the two sample rule work?
If the patient is not known to the Blood Bank then the two sample rule is invoked. The two samples must come from separate venepuncture events and ideally should be carried out by two different people.

Separate request forms should be completed for each sample. It is not acceptable to take two samples at one venepuncture event and send them to the Blood Bank on separate request forms. This will not negate the possibility of WBIT. There is no limit on the time between samples as long as the Blood Bank have a historic blood group on record.

How will I know if a second sample is required?
If you are unsure whether the Blood Bank already have a historic blood group you can check on ICE. If you are still unsure then please telephone the Blood Bank on 01305 254320/4329.

Specimen and request form labelling

The Sample Labelling Policy for the Hospital Transfusion Laboratory is available here.

For the 'unknown patient' in major trauma situations only, both the sample and request form must be labelled with a unique hospital number.

Transfusion reactions

In the event of a suspected transfusion reaction, stop infusion immediately and contact laboratory or duty Biomedical Scientist

The Transfusion Reaction Protocol is available here.

Quick phlebotomy guide

TestSample required
Crossmatch/THYD6mL EDTA - pink top
Kleihauer4mL EDTA & 6mL EDTA
Cord Blood Investigation6mL EDTA
Group and Coombs on babies1.2mL EDTA (Paed FBC tube)
Maternal Bloods (post natal) 4mL EDTA & 6mL EDTA
Platelet Antibodies/InvestigationsContact Laboratory
Booking blood (group/antibody screen)6mL EDTA
Follow-up (antibody screen)6mL EDTA
Antibody investigations (by WRTC)Contact Laboratory

Blood, blood components and blood products

Protocols agreed with Hospital Transfusion Committee are available from Hospital Transfusion Laboratory.

Supply of blood for routine surgical procedures in accordance with current MSBOS is also available from Hospital Transfusion Laboratory. 

Components/products  Information/requirements
Red cellsUsed for operation cover & treatment on anaemias
Fresh frozen plasmaContact Clinical Haematologist/Hospital Transfusion Practitioner. If blood group unknown send 6mL EDTA for Group & Save
Human AlbuminHospital Transfusion Laboratory issue on named patient basis
Human AlbuminHospital Transfusion Laboratory issue on named patient basis
Coagulation FactorsContact Clinical Haematologist
Anti-D immunoglobulinsIndividual doses are available on request on named patient basis only

Component storage and transport

Red cells, fresh frozen plasma and Octaplas must be stored in designated blood fridges at 2-6o C. Transport in validated containers (Versapak) is permitted for up to two hours, preparation and packing of these containers must be done by the laboratory staff.

Handbook of transfusion medicine

The handbook on Blood Transfusion can be downloaded from the UK Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation services website here.