National audit of bedside transfusion practice
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National audit of bedside transfusion practice

Susan Cottrell Transfusion practitioner, Better Blood Transfusion, National Services Scotland, Edinburgh
Victoria Davidson Transfusion practitioner, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

Aim To measure clinical bedside practice and promote best practice for the administration of blood.

Method Data were collected on patient identification and the monitoring of patients receiving a transfusion.

Results The majority of patients received safe transfusion, with adequate identity checks and careful monitoring. Some patients, however, were at risk of misidentification or an unobserved transfusion reaction because of the absence of a patient identity wristband or lack of monitoring during transfusion.

Conclusion The results of the audit are largely positive, with a continual comparative trend from previous audits of improvement in patient safety during transfusion. Healthcare professionals appear to recognise the importance of the final bedside check and monitoring of transfused patients, contributing to safe practice. However, a minority of patients were put at risk because procedures were not followed. The findings of this audit, particularly those relating to patient identification and monitoring, are relevant to many other aspects of clinical care, not only safe transfusion practice.

Nursing Standard. 27, 43, 41-48. doi: 10.7748/ns2013.

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 02 July 2012

Accepted: 15 February 2013