Updated instructions for returning blood units with suspected bacterial contamination

Do not use the Bacteriology Request Form (FRM1581) and discard any blank copies

Hospitals should return units with suspected bacterial contamination for further investigation by the Microbiology Services Laboratory – Bacteriology. The contamination may be because of observed visual abnormality before transfusion or because of a patient reaction that the NHSBT Patient Consultant agrees may be bacterial in origin. 

The process for returning unit following a patient reaction has been amended. Hospitals no longer need to complete the Bacteriology Request Form (FRM1581):  all information is now completed by the NHSBT Patient Consultant on their form, FRM4544, following your telephone call with them. 

Please refer to the Bacterial contamination web page in the “Reporting adverse events” section for the updated process.

Jennifer Bearne - Principal Bacteriology Development Scientist, Microbiology Services Laboratory