A Prospective Audit Program to Determine Blood Component Transfusion Appropriateness at a Large University Hospital: A 5-Year Experience

Grace N.C. Jackson, Cindi A. Snowden, Alexander J. Indrikovs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Predetermined transfusion guidelines, pretransfusion approval, and transfusion audits are useful tools in the education of those ordering blood components, potentially resulting in the reduction of inappropriate use of blood components. Our institution requires mandatory prospective audits for a proportion (10%) of packed red blood cell unit orders and all orders for fresh frozen plasma, platelets, and cryoprecipitate. Cases where the blood bank physician recommends against a transfusion and the ordering physician concurs, or when blood components are released against blood bank's recommendation, are referred to the transfusion committee. Transfusion committee members review the medical records to determine the circumstances surrounding the transfusion request as well as patient outcomes relating to their receiving or not receiving the transfusion. We analyzed 220 transfusion episodes brought before the transfusion committee from 2001 to 2005. The most requested blood component denied or changed was fresh frozen plasma. With only a few exceptions, the denial or change of blood components had no adverse effect on the patient. Nonetheless, these interventions were deemed appropriate by the transfusion committee. In most cases, blood components released based on the demand of the ordering physician, despite the advice of the blood bank physician, were deemed as inappropriate transfusions. This study therefore suggests that prospective audits of blood component orders can help reduce inappropriate transfusions and can be a valuable educational tool for the ordering physicians as well as for residents in training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-161
Number of pages8
JournalTransfusion Medicine Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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