Enquiries: 01305 251150

Updated 12 September 2023

Contact details

Transfusion Laboratory
01305  254320/4329

For out of hours / 'urgent' bleep 581 (via switchboard)

Transfusion Laboratory Manager
01305 255933

Transfusion Practitioner
01305 255043

For general transfusion enquiries please email htt@dchft.nhs.uk

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.

Two sample rule

With effect from 1 August 2017, the Transfusion Laboratory 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 Transfusion Laboratory 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 on our Laboratory Information System you must repeat the group and save or cross-match with a second sample. A member of the Transfusion Team will inform you if a second sample is required. You can review ICE to see if a previous sample has been taken.

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 Transfusion Laboratory then the two sample rule is invoked. The two samples must come from separate venepuncture events and ideally Positive Patient Identification 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 Transfusion Laboratory 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 Transfusion Laboratory have a historic blood group on record.

How will I know if a second sample is required?
If you are unsure whether the Transfusion Laboratory  already have a historic blood group you can check on ICE. If you are still unsure then please telephone the laboratory 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.

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
Components/products  Information/requirements
Red cells Used for operation cover & treatment on anaemias
Fresh frozen plasma Contact 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
Coagulation FactorsContact Clinical Haematologist
Anti-D immunoglobulinsIndividual doses are available on request on named patient basis only

Handbook of transfusion medicine

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