The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) latest report highlights that mislabelling of blood samples could pose a deadly risk to patients.
National data indicates there were 792 ‘wrong blood in tube’ near misses (where the error was spotted in time and no patient suffered harm) relating to blood transfusion samples, in 2018 across England.
The reference event in the report is a case where patient details became mixed up on blood samples sent from a maternity unit. In the case of mislabelling on blood transfusion samples, the impact could be devastating. There’s the potential for serious injuries and even death.
Dr Stephen Drage, HSIB Director of Investigations and ICU consultant, said: “Millions of blood tests are carried out across the NHS each year, from GP surgeries to large teaching hospitals. Most happen without incident but when it does go wrong it could represent a catastrophic outcome for patients, families and staff."
Read the full report
Source: HSIB, 26 September 2019