Quality control of red cell filtration at the patient's bedside

G. Sirchia, P. Rebulla, A. Parravicini, F. Marangoni, A. Cortelezzi, A. Stefania

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Concern has been raised about the quality of white cell (WBC) reduction in blood components when it is performed by filtration at the patient's bedside. Thus, the quality of red cell (RBC) filtration performed at the bedside through two new flatbed WBC-reduction filters was evaluated. Study Design and Methods: In the laboratory, 25 and 10 RBC units suspended in additive solution were stored for 1 to 2 and 14 to 21 days, respectively, and filtered through each filter. At the end of filtration, an automated complete blood count and a manual WBC count (Nageotte chamber) were determined in two samples collected from 1) a segment clamped at 5 and 25 cm below the filter along the line connecting prefiltration and postfiltration bags and 2) the postfiltration bag. In addition, 10 of the 11 nurses of the hematology outpatient clinic administered to hematologic patients 25 RBC units stored for 1 to 2 days through each type of filter. At the end of transfusion, a segment was collected from the transfusion set and a WBC count was performed as described above. No filter priming or rinsing with saline was done. Results: WBC counts obtained after laboratory filtration in the segments were similar to those obtained from the postfiltration bags and from the segments collected at the bedside in all cases, with the exception of 14- to 21-day- old RBCs filtered in the laboratory through one of the filters, which produced slightly higher WBC counts in the segments than were seen in the postfiltration bags. The difference was not significant. In no case was the count in the postfiltration bag higher than that in the segment. Nurse training was easy, and bedside filtration was associated with no untoward effects. Conclusion: The RBC filtration at the patient's bedside can be equal in quality to that performed in the laboratory, at least in such clinical settings as hematology and oncology departments in which blood transfusion is common practice, and if simple training is provided to the nursing staff. Under the conditions of this study, it seems that quality control of RBC bedside filtration is feasible and simple.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-30
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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