American Society for Clinical Pathology backs Temperature Sensitive Labels for Red Blood Cells

A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Pathology found that temperature sensitive labels for monitoring blood can help hospitals and blood banks conform to the American Association of Blood Banks and US Food and Drug Administration standards for safe human blood transportation and storage.

While many front-line teams rely on the “30 minute rule” for returning blood back into storage, using a temperature sensitive label can increase the safety of the blood life cycle, while reducing wastage.

They found:

“…these devices offer transfusion services an opportunity to develop and validate their own in-house procedures to supplement and, thereby, improve on decisions using the 30-minute rule. For example, if a unit of RBCs were overheated by placement on a hot surface (eg, microwave heater, radiator, or the top of a refrigerator) but returned within 30 minutes to the transfusion service, its potential unsuitability would not be identified by a transfusion service relying only on the 30-minute rule. However, such a potentially unsuitable unit would be likely to be recognized if a temperature-sensitive label had been in place.

Also, procedures can be developed to use temperature-sensitive labels to avoid unnecessary and costly discards of blood components when storage for more than 30 minutes outside a temperature-monitored refrigerator raises questions about suitability.”

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