Blood transfusion

Our blood transfusion service provides a range of blood and blood products, performs antenatal screening and other specialist testing for our hospitals and external healthcare professionals.

The team also advise clinicians on the appropriate use of this limited resource.

The department supports a range of medical specialities including the Elective Orthopaedic Centre, foetal medicine unit, Accident and emergency services (A&E), and Maternity services.

This service is assessed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Key staff

Dr R Zuha, Consultant 

Helen Nabakka, Lead Biomedical Scientist

Location and opening hours

St Helier Hospital: first floor, D block

Epsom Hospital: first floor, Headley wing 

The service is available Monday - Friday, 9am - 5.30pm. Outside of these hours, we operate an on-call service. The on-call haematologist can be contacted via switchboard on 020 8296 2000 (St Helier) and 01372 735735 (Epsom). 

Enquiries about blood transfusion

St Helier Hospital 

Tel: 020 8296 4710/2504

Epsom Hospital 

Tel: 01372 73 5735 ext 6094

Clinical advice: available from consultant haematologist in core hours and via haematologist on-call out of hours.

More information

Maximum surgical blood order schedule

For each operation the number of units normally crossmatched is shown below. Larger amounts will only be crossmatched after discussion with the transfusion laboratory.

Obstetrics / Gynaecology

Operation

Requirements

Abruption

Group and save

APH/PPH

2 initially

Colposuspension

Group and save

Caesarian

Group and save

Ectopic

2 if bleeding or ruptured

Hysterectomy

Group and save

Mastectomy

Group and save

Myomectomy

2

Ovarian Cystectomy/Ovarian mass

2

Placenta Praevia

2

TOP/ERPC/D&C

Group and save

TOS

Group and save

 

Orthopaedics

Operation

Requirements

Amputation

Group and save

Discectomy: Lumbar /
Cervical

Group and save / 2

Fracture

Group and save

Hip replacement

Group and save

Hip revision

2

Knee bilateral

2

Knee replacement

Group and save

Knee revision

2

ORIF

Group and save

Scoliosis

6

 

General surgery

Operation

Requirements

Anterior (AP) Resection

3

Appendicectomy

Group and save

Cholecystectomy

Group and save

Colectomy

3

ERCP

Group and save

Gastrectomy: total / partial

3 / Group and save

Hemicolectomy

2

Laparotomy

Group and save

liver biopsy

Group and save

Oesophagectomy

4

Pancreatectomy

4

Splenectomy

2

Thyroidectomy

Group and save

Vascular surgery

Operation

Requirements

Aneurysm: Cold / Urgent

4 / 6-8

Aortic bifemoral bypass

3

Carotid/femoral endarterectomy

Group and save

Fem-pop bypass

2

 

Urology / renal

Operation

Requirements

Cystectomy

4

Nephrectomy

2

Retropubic/radical Prostatectomy

4

TURP

Group and save

TURBT

Group and save

Ureterolithotomy/urethroplasty

Group and save

 

Renal transplant

Operation

Requirements

Donor

2

Recipient

4

Renal biopsy

Group and save

 

 

Tests we perform and how to label samples

We perform the following tests:

  • Group and antibody screen
  • Crossmatch
  • Antibody identification when required
  • DAT as appropriate
  • Investigation of HDN
  • Phenotypes
  • Investigation of transfusion reaction
  • Provision of blood, FFP, cryoprecipitate, platelets, Anti-D, albumin and clotting factors.
  • Antibody quantitation and titration
  • Investigation of weak/variant RhD
  • HLA typing for platelet refractoriness
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Fetal Rh D screening
  • Specialist blood products and tests on request.

For detailed information about the above tests please visit our test directory and select the category 'blood transfusion'.

Instructions for labelling samples 

To identify a patient specimen beyond doubt, all sections of the form must be completed. Sample tubes must not be pre-labelled. Addressograph labels are not accepted on sample tubes. 

The following data must be on both form and specimen; the specimen should be hand-labelled at the patient’s side by the person taking the blood sample:

  • Surname and forename, full date of birth and hospital number
  • Date taken, hospital and ward/department
  • Signature of person taking the specimen.

If the name is unknown please write ‘unknown’ followed by patient’s sex and ‘emergency’ registration number.

Uncertainty of Measurement

The Blood transfusion department acknowledges that all testing is subject to a degree of variability and therefore uncertainty in the measurement or result. Variability can be due to biological variation, analytical variation, or other factors such as poor specimen collection, delays in transport, clerical and reporting errors.

At all stages of processing, the department has attempted to identify points at which variation may be introduced and has control measures in place to reduce the impact of this variation on the clinical relevance on the result released.

If you would like more detailed information on our quality performance or information on uncertainty of measurement please contact the department on extension 6094.

Factors that may affect test results

Test results may be affected by:

  • Clotted EDTA samples
  • Grossly haemolysed samples
  • Lipaemic samples
  • Presence of cold agglutinins
  • Some auto-immune diseases.

More information

For detailed information about the tests we perform please visit our test directory and select the category 'blood transfusion'.

Cross matching and reservation of blood

The minimum notice for a routine transfusion is 48 hours, as the work will be done in normal laboratory hours, and extra blood may have to be ordered.

Please note that any requests for special requirements, phenotyped blood and/or blood products could result in a delay. Blue light deliveries from NBS are possible but must only be used in emergency situations and will require consultant approval.

Contact the laboratory to request additional cross-matching.

Potential surgical cases should have group and save at pre-clerking appointment, with a repeat group and save on admission if a cross match is required; add "save serum" if cross match likely within seven days. 

Routine group and cross match for planned surgery is not done by emergency service staff.

Reservation of blood

Cross-matched blood is kept for 48 hours. After this time it is made available for other patients unless the laboratory is contacted between 8.15am and 8.30am.

Order and issue of all blood products as indicated by the guidelines in the hospital transfusion policy, and/or discussion with the consultant haematologist. 
 

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