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Efforts to reduce blood product wastage in blood bank

  • 1.  Efforts to reduce blood product wastage in blood bank

    Posted 05-16-2018 03:08
    Hi all, I’m working on a research project looking at efforts needed to effect reduction of blood products wastage. I need your inputs and pieces of advice, especially on yardsticks needed to measure process improvement and statistics to use in evaluating trends.
    Feel free to email your contributions to
    Thank you

    Sent from my iPhone

  • 2.  RE: Efforts to reduce blood product wastage in blood bank

    Posted 05-17-2018 11:13
    ​As the laboratory administrator for a system of hospital and clinic labs, with 7 hospital labs that transfuse blood, there are a couple of strategies that have been effective.
    1.  Moving blood products that are approached outdate from smaller and critical access hospitals to our two largest metro hospitals where the product will be utilized quickly.
    2.  We also have a strong two-way relationship with our blood supplier (Red Cross) who is keeping track of our inventories and actually reaching out to let us know to move product or to return it to the blood center.
    3.  Internally, assuring that we are on top of where product has been dispensed to, including MTP coolers and making sure product is used in a timely manner, temperature monitored, and requesting return.  The big offender here is plasma that has been thawed.


    Rick Panning
    Senior Administrative Director
    Bloomington MN

  • 3.  RE: Efforts to reduce blood product wastage in blood bank

    Posted 05-17-2018 17:23
    ​Mr. Adeoye
    I am blessed to be the technical specialist for 12 transfusion services and 1 stand-alone ED. There are two big buckets when it comes to waste.
    1. On shelf expiration
    2. Practice waste.

    Gaining control of on-shelf waste is fairly easy with a little laboratory creativeness.
    1. Create a min - max inventory level based on evaluating utilization, distance from the blood center, staffing, emergency needs, case type normally serviced, risk levels, etc. The inventory levels will span all product types.
    2. Teach inventory management to lab staff. For example, stock rotations, oldest out first, evaluating inventory levels frequently, reviewing the surgical schedule, and historical needs for the case type. This is more of a science then one would think.
    3. Adjust inventory levels if utilization increases or decreases
    4. We rotate stock to facilities in the system that are more likely to use it as the expiration date is nearing. The rotation out and into another facility needs to be based on the likelihood the receiving facility will use the product before it expires. This may very based on the product blood type or the component type.
    5. Create a maximum surgical blood ordering schedule (MSBOS) with the OR. This way the number of units XM will have a C/T ratio very close to 1 and you will have more available units for those that need them.
    6. Use electronic XM. This will have support a MSBOS.

    Gaining control of practice waste is harder but can be done.
    1. Evaluate how long the component is at room temp before issuing: put red cell and ffp units on refrigerator packs as you are preparing the unit at issue.
    2. Re-evaluate your coolers. The qualification plan I have requires that the staff to open the cooler every 15 min for a total of 8 hours. The intent  is to mirror practice of opening and closing the cooler in the OR. (i.e. qualify the cooler like it is used). If the cooler does not maintain temp - replace it.
    3. Educate clinical staff on proper component handling. I even include detailed pictures on the coolers about how to pack the cooler.
    4. Present the clinical waste in dollars to the department leaders that have the greatest waste. Money talks!!

    There are other things but this will give you a good start. Happy Blood Banking!
    Alana Sutherland
    Transfusion Service Technical Specialist, Allina Health

    Alana Sutherland
    Technical Specialist
    Allina Health
    Prior Lake MN