(Please note that this is not an ANZSBT-endorsed resource. It has been included here to provide guidance on what other services are doing).
Public pathology laboratories in NSW were faced with the ongoing need to reduce red cell wastage while at the same time complying with best practice guidelines which required that any product that deviated even slightly from storage and transport temperatures and times, must not be transfused except at discretion of the laboratory director. NSW public pathology supports NSW Ambulance Aero-retrieval with blood packaged in multiple eskies containing O RhD) Negative red cells with loggers, which are deemed by guidelines to be “storage” rather than “transport”, with the high potential for non-compliance and wastage. There was nothing available locally to assist a laboratory director in making a decision about the fate of red cells which exceeded storage or transport specifications. NSWHP Transfusion Clinical Stream had therefore sought to provide some guidance to its transfusion laboratories by preparing a policy document (PD_012) to optimise the use of blood products within NSW public pathology laboratories. The PD referred to requirements of ANZSBT Guidelines for Transfusion and Immunohaematology Practice – Nov 2016 and to Joint United Kingdom (UK) Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation Services Professional Advisory Committee (JPAC) Guidelines for Blood Transfusion Services. The PD has successfully standardised varied local laboratory practices across NSW, and been of significant assistance to laboratory directors to keep blood wastage low. This PD is provided courtesy of NSWHP as an example of a useful document for ANZSBT members to use to develop similar cell storage and transport policies, perhaps even at a national level.