Urgent cross match- the Blood Transfusion Department must be informed by phone.
Blood should be available within 45 minutes unless:
- atypical red cell antibodies are detected
- special requirements are identified
- patient has been identified not to have any transfusion history (the 2 sample rule would need to be fulfilled)
Non-urgent cross match- blood will be available for the date and time required if sufficient notice is given. If this is not possible, Blood Bank will inform the ward.
Please note that some patients are serologically complicated and testing or cross-matching may have to be referred to NHS Blood and Transplant in Barnsley. In these cases, a specific turnaround time can range from 3 to 8 hours depending on the complexity of the investigation and additional samples may be requested. If blood is required more urgently, contact the Blood Bank immediately.
General information about crossmatch testing
Patients for cross match, must follow the 2 sample rule.
Electronic issue of blood – following group and antibody screen (and providing that the rules for electronic issue are satisfied), blood will be issued without the need for compatibility testing (cross matching). In these situations blood is available almost immediately.
Compatibility testing – when electronic issue criteria cannot be satisfied, compatibility testing (cross matching) must be performed in order to provide blood. If no antibodies are identified and there are no special product requirements blood may be available within the hour for urgent requests. If an antibody is identified or the patient requires non random units such as; irradiated or CMV Negative, the timescale for blood availability will be extended. The Blood Bank staff will be available to determine and inform medical staff, in each situation.
Transfusion and pregnancy may cause an immune response and units selected for cross matching or antibody screening must take account of this. In situations in which patients are repeatedly or previously transfused, they should be screened for the development of irregular antibodies at regular intervals. Please contact Blood Bank staff for further advice for these patients.
Please inform the Blood Bank if the need for blood changes, in order that wastage is kept to an absolute minimum.
Non-urgent requests when no problems or special requirements are identified should be available for the time and date stated on the request form. Please allow 4 hours for inpatient cross matches and 24 hours for cold surgery.
Please contact Blood bank for advice regarding sample requirements and collection times if:
- an antibody has been previously identified
- the patient has been transfused within the last 3 months
If there is a problem in provision of blood for any reason the Blood Bank will notify the ward or requesting clinician as soon as possible. The blood provided will normally be of the same ABO and Rh (D) type as the patient. Blood of a different type may occasionally be provided in the interests of efficient stock management.
Medical practitioners may telephone the department, or send a completed request form to add requests for blood (or blood products) to an existing group and screen sample. A full audit trail must be provided in either case.
Cross-matched blood is held for 24 hours from the time and date stated on the request form and is then returned to stock and may be used for other cases. Should a transfusion regimen take longer than 72 hours, a further sample is required in order to identify those patients who may have been stimulated into producing antibodies. This will then allow further compatible units to be provided safely.
Requests for blood to surgical lists should be requested in good time (a minimum of 24 hours in advance) and during the core working day, if possible.