Wrong Blood in Tube (WBIT) events are recognised as being one of the greatest risks to safe blood transfusion practice.
A WBIT event occurs when a blood sample is taken for a patient but is then labelled with the details of a different patient which, if not detected using historical data for the patient, can result in a patient being given ABO incompatible blood which is potentially catastrophic. There have been fatalities reported due to undetected WBITs.
In order to detect a WBIT before it can cause serious harm it is recommended in national guidance from the British Committee for Standards in Haematology (BCSH) that all patients who require a blood transfusion must have at least two separate blood transfusion samples processed to confirm the patient’s ABO blood group.
Transfusion samples will be valid for 7 days unless the patient has been pregnant or had a transfusion during the previous 3 months, in which case the sample will be valid for 3 days.
For more details please refer to the GHNHSFT Blood Transfusion intranet pages for The 2 sample Rule
Although not an exhaustive list, the following resource link takes you to factors which may affect the performance of microbiology tests. Steps should be taken wherever possible to minimise the potential impact of these factors.