J Clin Outcomes Manage
Transfusion safety - where should our efforts be focused now?
Abstract Objective: To review initiatives that have been implemented to improve transfusion safety and discuss strategies for reducing errors. Methods: Review of the literature. Results: Having strict requirements for eligibility of nonremunerated donors and extensive infectious disease testing on donated blood has led to blood for transfusion that is safer than it has ever been. Efforts to reduce transfusion-related acute lung injury are currently underway, and the future of blood safety will likely include pathogen inactivation. ABO incompatible red cell transfusions remain a problem, and there are several methods to ensure better patient and blood component identification, such as electronic bar coding or radio frequency identification device technology. Creation of positions such as transfusion safety officer or vice president for transfusion affairs could provide more comprehensive management and oversight of the blood transfusion process. Conclusion: While much has been accomplished in the blood collection arena, many opportunities for reducing transfusion errors remain. Improvement in the error collecting and reporting process and the creation of hospital positions such as transfusion safety officer would be helpful in improving blood transfusion safety.
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