ISBT 128 Labelling

Blood component labels contain clinically important information about a specific component.

Labels can have modifier texts which specify modifiers of the blood component, such as red cell phenotype or CMV antibody status.  You should be familiar with their meanings.

Always transfuse components only when labels confirm desired characteristics of blood issued for transfusion: for example, components that have been processed (eg. irradiated) or are either positive or negative for particular antigens [eg. RHD, Rh(E) or K].

From 18 November 2018, the Blood Service is moving to the ISBT 128 labelling standard.

The introduction of ISBT 128 (Information Standard for Blood and Transplant) in Australia will provide us with an internationally recognised standard for blood component labelling that offers improved traceability and safety for patients and donors.

ISBT 128 transition label

With the move to the ISBT 128 standard blood component labels will change with the introduction of a new ISBT 128 ‘Component Transition Label’ (shown below). This will include both ISBT 128 barcodes as well as the current Codabar linear barcodes, allowing health providers who do not yet have ISBT 128 capability to continue managing their inventory without interruption. 

ISBT 128 Transition Label - December 2018.png


Please send any queries to

► Download the Australian Guidelines for the Labelling of the Blood Components using ISBT128