Blood Transfusion


Departmental StaffJob TitleContact Number
Dr David VealeLead Consultant Haematologist01271 349198
Duty Haematologist  (Office Hours)Duty Consultant Haematologist01271 349198 – Office Hours
Duty Haematologist (Nights & Weekends)Duty Consultant HaematologistContact switchboard and ask for the duty consultant haematologist
Lee LuscombePathology Services Manager01271 311754
Jeni DaviesBlood Transfusion Manager01271 349199 (ext 3199)
Senior Biomedical ScientistHannah Thomas01271 322327
Kathleen Wedgeworth

Laura Davenport

I.V. Fluids/Transfusion Clinical Nurse Specialists01271 322440
Transfusion Laboratory01271 322327


Blood Transfusion Contents

Two Sample RuleBlood Transfusion Policies and Guidlines
Labelling Blood Transfusion Specimens and Request FormsOther, Non-Red Cell, Blood Products Available
Blood Group, Antibody Screening, and Cross MatchBlood Transfusion Investigations
Maximum Times for Add-on Requests – Blood Transfusion Samples
Specimen Timing Requirements for Transfusion Samples

Two Sample Rule

To ensure patient safety, the transfusion laboratory requires the patient to have been tested on more than one occasion prior to issuing red blood cells.  The two separate samples for Group and Save must have been taken at different times, i.e at different phlebotomy sessions.

It is not acceptable to collect two blood samples at the same time and label them a few minutes apart. Such specimens will be rejected.

Labelling Blood Transfusion Specimens and Request Forms

All specimen tubes MUST be labelled with 4 key identifiers:

  • Patient’s last name
  • Patient’s first name
  • DOB
  • Hospital number (or NHS number for primary care requests)

Blood tubes must be signed and dated.

Addressograph labels, unclear or incorrectly labelled samples will be REJECTED in accordance with national guidance.


Blood Group, Antibody Screening, and Cross Match

If you wish to convert a group and screen to a cross match, please phone the laboratory on 01271 322327 (ext. 2327).

Group & screen/save samples are kept for 7 days.


Maximum Times for Add-on Requests – Blood Transfusion Samples

All Blood Transfusion samples are retained for 7 days. However, the issue of blood against a Group & Save sample is dependent on recent transfusion history. Please see the Blood Transfusion Policy or contact the Transfusion Laboratory for further details.


Specimen Timing Requirements for Transfusion Samples

If a patient has been transfused or had a pregnancy confirmed within the last three months samples for the current transfusion must be less than 72 hours (3 days) old.

If a patient has never had a previous transfusion or not been pregnant with the last three months, samples for the current transfusion are valid for up to 7 days.

Allow 1 clear working day for elective crossmatching. Crossmatched blood is routinely returned to stock after 48 hrs unless discussed with the laboratory.


Blood Transfusion Policies and Guidlines

This hyperlink will open a page with links to Blood Transfusion and other pathology related policies and guidelines.


Other, Non-Red Cell, Blood Products Available

Please send a signed request form for all blood products, including FFP and Cryoprecipitate  
Blood ProductComments
Fresh frozen plasma (FFP)
  • Blood group specific
  • Allow 30 min for FFP to be defrosted in laboratory.
  • Methylene blue treated FFP is required for all patients born since 1996.
Octaplas (Pooled FFP)
  •  Used to treat TTP
  • Blood group specific.
  • Allow 30 min for defrosting.
  • Blood group specific.
  • Routine orders during the day must be in by 10am for delivery that day.
  • In an emergency platelets are usually available within 3 hours.
Human Albumin Solution (HAS) (4.5% and 20%)
  • Blood group not required.
  • HAS is issued one unit at a time only, on a named patient basis.
Anti – D Immunoglobulin
  • For Rhesus negative woman, post delivery of Rh D positive child give at least 500iµ.
  • Kleihauer performed automatically.
  • Ward will be informed if further dose of anti-D is required and the need for a further Kleihauer test.
  • Following any sensitising event < 20 weeks gestation, give at least 500iµ anti –D; > 20 weeks at least 500 iµ and a Kleihauer test should be requested.
Routine Anti-D prophylaxis at 28 weeks
  • Need is determined at ‘booking bloods’.
  • Anti-D is routinely issued to community midwives according to the EDD given at booking.
Octaplex (Prothrombin Complex Concentrate)
  • Used for the emergency reversal of the effects of Warfarin.
  • May only be ordered by a consultant
  • Contact the duty Consultant Haematologist for advice on 01271 349198 (ext. 3198)

NOTE: If printed, information on this page is only valid on day of printing.

Last updated: January 25, 2022