Checking identification is saving life in blood transfusion

As the dawn filter the shimmering rays of sun through the hospital window, newly joined interns, Tara and Arun looked at the clock.
Tara whispered -“Only one more hour to go, and then we finished with our first day posting of obstetrics and gynaecology, it is undoubtedly a stringent department to work. Isn’t it ?”
Arun nodded -“look at the amount of work we still need to finish, just one hour, can we hurry up. Please!”.
It was a massive night shift for everyone in the unit as there were cases of two emergency caesarean section for preeclampsia and abruptio placentae along with instances of complicated breech delivery and prolonged labour.
Monitoring BP, putting IV line, sending the sample to the laboratory and writing notes on a patients file seems a tedious task for the newly joined interns. But they wonder how there Senior resident Ananya, is so efficient and yet calm in such a tense situation.
Meanwhile, Ananya stepped inside the ward and asked Arun -“Have you able to arrange the blood for the pregnant patient who is suffering from anaemia.”
With a conquering smile, Arun  replied: “Yes Mam, just now I have collected it from blood bank “.
“That’s great, would you both like to learn today about the correct procedure for transfusion” ,Ananya encouraged Tara and Arun .
“We learnt it last week from our friends Mam, “Tara said excitedly.
“Oh! so tell me the first and basic step ” inquired Ananya
“Mam, we need to connect blood with iv line and then we need to monitor”-said Arun and explained necessary textbook procedure about blood transfusion.
“Do you miss something basic Arun, think more carefully what you need to do first ?”-probed Anaya
Tara moaned “Can’t think of anything else mam, that’s what all written in the textbook .”
Well, transfusion of blood is one of the most dangerous events in the hospital if not done carefully. Hence, the first and most crucial step is to check the name and date of birth of the patient. Usually, in ideal setup patient is provided with a wrist band where a unique identification number is provided. Always match the name, date of birth and unique identification with the blood bag. Always make sure to double check the blood group written on the blood bag with the patient’s blood group on the notes. ” -explained Ananya.
With little bewilderment, Arun muttered-” why so many checks for patients name and blood bag.”
Ananya smile and clarified-” Arun you need to understand while working in the Indian set up that everything would not be as structured as you read in a textbook. We need to practice more cautiously in India for a variety of reason. First, the patient can be from low socio-economic status and can be illiterate. Perhaps, cannot provide information spontaneously; hence, you should develop art to extract information. Additionally, there can be a possibility of not having a unique identification number in the hospital, and many times, there are two patients of the same gender and age can be present in a hospital ward. Thus, to overcome this barrier, you need to adopt extra vigilant skill in your practice. “
Tara mumbled” There is so much to learn and we thought we nailed it last week only ”
“Try to have another person with you at the time of checking names and labels to reduce the morbidity and mortality due to human error” -Advice Ananya.
“Now, let’s go and learn the useful bits together”Ananya directed. Three of them headed towards the patient bed for the blood transfusion.


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