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​Hospital Transfusion Laboratory

  • Contact numbers
  • Urgent Requests
  • Specimen and request form labelling
  • Transfusion reactions
  • Quick Phlebotomy guide
  • Blood, Blood Components and Blood Products
  • Component Storage and Transport
  • Handbook of Transfusion Medicine


Contact numbers

Transfusion Laboratory: ext 4320/4329

Transfusion Laboratory Manager: ext 5933

Transfusion Practitioner: ext 5774


Urgent requests

Department opening hours 09:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday.  Outside of these hours it's emergency cover only.

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 (Extension: 4329/4320) 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 urgent cases group compatible can be provided in 10-20 minutes).

In extremely urgent critical situations where less than 20 minutes is available, non-crossmatched 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.

*Note 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.

Crossmatched 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 1st August 2017, 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?

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 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 X-match as you normally do. If the patient has no previous records in Blood Bank then you MUST repeat the group and save or X-match with a second sample. A member of the blood Bank team will inform you if a 2nd 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 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 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 Blood Bank have a historic blood group on record.

How will I know if a second sample is required?

If you are unsure whether Blood Bank already have a historic blood group you can check on ICE. If you are still unsure then please telephone Blood Bank on 01305 - 254320 or 254329.

Specimen and request form labelling

Follow link for Blood Sciences sample labelling policy including Transfusion Laboratory

Sample labelling policy for HTL click 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 on ext 4320 or blp Biomedical Scientist out of hours via Switchboard.

Follow link for transfusion reaction protocol


Quick Phlebotomy guide

TestSample required
Crossmatch/THYD6mL EDTA - pink top
Kleihauer4mL EDTA & 6mL EDTA
Cord Blood Investigation6mL EDTA
Group & 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. Please click here

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 Albumin Hospital Transfusion Laboratory issue on named patient basis
Human Albumin Hospital Transfusion Laboratory issue on named patient basis
Coagulation FactorsContact Clinical Haematologist
Anti-D immunoglobulins Individual doses are available on request on named patient basis only
Other special requirements Contact Hospital Transfusion Laboratory


Component Storage and Transport

Red cells, fresh frozen plasma and Octaplas must be stored in designated blood fridges at 2-6C . Transport in validated containers (Versapak) is permitted for up to 2 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 & Tissue Transplantation services website.

Click here to visit the site and download the handbook in pdf format.