RFID – Blood Administration

Blood transfusion errors have long been a source of concern for hospitals and clinics. The blood-handling process at many healthcare facilities contains a number of manual steps, which can introduce human error. Blood transfusion verification systems also tend to be paper-based and are therefore prone to errors.

This could be implemented in storage units at the blood bank of the hospital equipped to store such products. A blood bank manager, miles away, could have real-time information regarding the disposition of all these high-value products throughout the service area. If a usable unit was about to expire, it could be shipped to a location where it is needed, thereby reducing waste and enhancing revenue.

 

With the new blood-tracking system, hospital workers attach a self-adhesive RFID label to each bag of blood arriving at the hospital. The label's RFID chip has memory for storing a unique identification number, the hospital tracking number (used by the

blood bank system) and information on blood type.

 

These numbers are also saved in a secure database containing details about the blood's origin, its designated purpose and, once dispensed, its recipient. When a nurse wants to prepare a blood transfusion, he or she uses a handheld computer with an RFID interrogator to read the data encoded on the blood bag's RFID chip and the inlay embedded in the patient's ID bracelet. The latter includes a patient ID number and such medical information as the patient's weight blood type. The data from the

patient and the bag must match before the blood can be used, minimizing the risk of patients receiving the wrong type of blood.