How to Prescribe
The prescription is the first link in the chain of events leading to a patient receiving a blood product. Errors or omissions in the prescription can lead to major adverse events and even death.
The key elements of any prescription are identifying:
|Full name, gender, date of birth. The NHI number should be used whenever available. The patient's weight is also important if the dose is weight-based or the medicine is for a paediatric patient.|
|e.g. "blood" can mean resuspended red cells, whole blood, plasma-reduced red cells, red cells for IUT, neonatal red cells, etc|
|NB: mL for paediatric patients instead of e.g. 1 unit of red cells|
|IV for blood components, IM for most immunoglobulin concentrates|
|Note: transfusions of blood components must be completed within 4 hours of leaving controlled storage (Blood Bank or a blood fridge). Prescribing a unit over four hours leaves staff no time to set up the transfusion|
|Overnight transfusions are strongly discouraged as they put the patient at increased risk of errors and complications as well as disturbing precious sleep|
|If there are problems, ward staff know who to contact|
The complete requirements for prescribing are listed in the Medicines Regulations 1984.