Exceptionally, ie due to equipment failure at a Blood Centre, red cell components which have been prepared in a closed system and exposed to a core temperature not exceeding 10°C and not less than 1°C may be released for transfusion provided that:
- the component has been exposed to such a temperature change on one occasion only (if the unit has not had an excursion within NHSBT, your hospital can follow this guidance to retain blood components following equipment failure)
- the duration of the temperature change has not exceeded 5 hours
- a documented system is available in each Blood Centre to cover such eventualities
- adequate records of the incident are compiled and retained.
- After quarantining the components, the hospital should call the hospital services department at their local Stock Holding Unit, (SHU) to request a list of PCS13 flagged units. They must specify which report they require:
- red cell
- Hospitals must provide an email address at the time of the call
- Hospital services will email the list (in excel format) to the email address provided within 3 hours of the phone call.
- The hospital can use the list to determine if any units have been previously ‘flagged’, in which case they must be discarded.
- The decision to discard or retain any units is the hospitals. If units are retained, obviously a system needs to be in place to record the excursion.
- For more advice (e.g if it’s a product required immediately) we suggest a conversation with your own medic initially.
- If insufficient information is available, our duty consultant may be able to offer advice.
- NHSBT does not require feedback on the units you discard or retain.
- There will be no refund for units that you elect to discard.
|Blood Component||Cold Chain requirements||PCS13 flag will be set|
|Red Cells||Store 2-6 ˚ C||One excursion to 10˚C < 5hrs allowed|
|Platelets||20-24 ˚ C||May be set if 18-20˚C temperature deviation occurs|
|Frozen Products||< -30 ˚ C||Only if up to -25˚C|