Should nurses prescribe blood components?
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Should nurses prescribe blood components?

Elizabeth Pirie Transfusion nurse specialist, Effective Use of Blood Group, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, Edinburgh
Jan Green Transfusion liaison nurse, NHS Blood and Transplant Operating Division, National Blood Service, London

Aim To explore the feasibility of nurses prescribing blood components.

Method Using a convenience snowball sample, a UK-wide questionnaire survey was undertaken to identify transfusion practices and canvass the opinions of nurses and doctors.

Results A total of 179 (59%) of 302 respondents were supportive of nurses prescribing blood components, saying it would have a positive effect on the quality of patient care, result in fewer treatment delays and help doctors and nurses to use their time more effectively. The remaining 123 (41%) respondents had reservations about time and resource constraints and worries about undermining medical care and responsibility.

Conclusion Development of non-medical prescribing to allow nurses to prescribe blood components has the potential to deliver a more patient-centred quality service.

Nursing Standard. 21, 39, 35-41. doi: 10.7748/ns2007.

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review