Background: The increased use of white cell (WBC)-reduced blood components has prompted many institutions to develop quality assurance programs directed to such component preparation processes. For consistent preparation of WBC-reduced blood components that meet clinical needs as well as national standards, a program of process validation and control should be instituted. This involves controlling key factors that affect WBC reduction as well as periodic monitoring of the residual cellular content of components. Practical guidelines for the implementation of such a program are provided. Study Design and Methods: A program involving three phases of monitoring was de- veloped by individuals belonging to an international working party of the International Society of Blood Transfusion. Results: The first phase, process validation, evaluates a minimum of 20 consecutive units (a minimum of 60 units when nonparametric measurements are used) to document the successful local implementation of a new or substantially modified process. Ongoing process control employing Levey-Jenningstype control charts is used to demonstrate that the process remains stable over time. Process capability assessment and conformance with standards are evaluated once residual WBCs are counted in a sufficient number of units. This enables a facility to claim with a specified degree of confidence that a stated proportion of WBC-reduced units will meet national standards. Two approaches to determine the number of units that should be selected for counting are presented. The first approach considers units as either acceptable or not acceptable and assumes that the distribution of failed (or nonconforming) units approximates the Poisson distribution. The second approach takes into consideration the observed WBC content of the tested units, with the assumption that the residual WBC content in WBC-reduced components follows a lognormal distribution. A method to assess the lognormal distribution of residual WBCs is presented. Specific tables based on each of these approaches are provided to guide the reader in the design of a program that will verify conformance with any national standard at specific confidence levels. The approach can be generalized to other process control applications. Conclusion: Guidelines are presented for process validation, process control, and assessment of conformance in the production of WBC-reduced blood components. Policy makers retain the responsibility to establish, on the basis of the expected use of WBC-reduced components, requirements for the frequency of testing and for the proportion of prepared units that are expected with a stated degree of confidence to meet the standards. Facilities preparing WBC-reduced components can monitor key factors that influence the preparation of WBC-reduced blood, can periodically assess their conformance with the standards, and can intervene to correct adverse changes in the process. This approach can be used to ensure the consistent quality of WBC-reduced blood components.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas