Blood bank specimen mislabeling: A college of American pathologists Q-probes study of 41 333 blood bank specimens in 30 institutions

David A. Novis*, Paul F. Lindholm, Glenn Ramsey, Kirsten W. Alcorn, Rhona J. Souers, Barbara Blond

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context.-Incorrectly labeled patient blood specimens create opportunities for laboratory testing personnel to mistake one patient's specimen for a specimen from a different patient. Transfusion of blood that is typed on specimens that are mislabeled can result in acute hemolytic transfusion reactions. Objective.-To assess the rates of blood bank ABO typing specimens that are mislabeled and/or contain blood belonging to another patient (so-called wrong blood in tube [WBIT]), and to compare these rates with those determined in a similar study performed in 2007. Design.-Participants enrolled in this College of American Pathologists Q-Probes study for the first quarter of 2015 tallied the number of mislabeled and WBIT ABO blood typing specimens. Outcome measurements were the number of mislabeled and WBIT instances per 1000 specimens. We also evaluated the effects of various practice characteristics, in particular the use of bar coding, on the outcome measurements. Results.-A total of 30 institutions submitting data on 41 333 ABO blood typing specimens recorded aggregate rates of 7.4 instances of mislabeling (306 specimens) and 0.43 instances of WBIT (10 of 23 234) per 1000 specimens submitted. Mislabeling rates were lower in institutions requiring that specimens be labeled with patients' birth dates than those that did not. The rates of specimen mislabeling and WBIT were otherwise unassociated with any of the other practice variables evaluated. Conclusions.-The rates of ABO blood typing specimen mislabeling and WBIT are not statistically different from those determined in a similar study performed in 2007 (P= .94 and P = .10). The use of bar coding was not associated with lower mislabeling (P = .80) or WBIT rates (P = .79).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-259
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Volume141
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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