Barcodes on patient wristbands to prevent errors in the blood transfusion process have been recommended for routine adoption in Wales.
Health Technology Wales has published guidance recommending that health boards across Wales should adopt electronic blood management systems (EBMS) to support blood transfusions.
Transfusion of the wrong type of blood is one of the two leading causes of death from transfusion.
Traditionally patient identification and checks to ensure the correct transfusions are being given to patients have been carried out manually. EBMS uses barcodes on patient wristbands to confirm their identity then matches these with the details on the blood packet to ensure the correct blood is being given.
According to HTW’s research, compared to a paper-based system EBMS reduces rates of sample rejection and blood wastage. HTW also found that NHS Wales could save £1.9 million over two years if EBMS are applied to all people receiving blood transfusions in NHS Wales.
To read HTW’s full guidance on electronic blood management systems click here: healthtechnology.wales/reports-guidance/electronic-blood-management-systems/