Collection of pretransfusion blood samples

Collection of a correctly labelled pretransfusion blood sample from the intended recipient is vital to avoid transfusion errors. The majority of ABO mismatch transfusion reactions are due to patient misidentification or sample labelling errors.

Each institution must have policies and procedures in place for accurate patient identification and sample collection.

Blood samples that do not conform will be discarded by the Transfusion Medicine Laboratory.

  • Only bleed one patient at a time 

  • Never prelabel sample collection tubes

  • Ask the patient (where possible) to state/spell their full name and date of birth, and check these details along with the hospital unique identification number against the identification wrist band if available

  • A family member/carer can assist in verifying patient information if the patient is unable to do so themselves

  • Check that the above details are identical to the details on the request form

  • Label the sample tubes immediately after collection and before leaving the patient with the following details:

    • Patient’s surname and given name in full

    • Unique patient identification number and/or date of birth

    • Date and time of collection
  • Confirm that the blood sample, request form and patient details all match

  • Sign/initial both the blood sample and the request form to verify patient identification

  1. Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion. Guidelines for transfusion and immunohaematology laboratory practice. 1st ed. NSW 2016. 
  2. Milkins C, Berryman J, Cantwell C, Elliott C, Haggas R, Jones J, on behalf of the British Committee for Standards in Haematology. Guidelines for pre-transfusion compatibility procedures in blood transfusion laboratories. Transfusion Medicine 2013;23:3-35.