Transfusion recipient identification

P. Pagliaro, P. Rebulla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent reports from different haemovigilance systems indicate that errors in the whole-blood transfusion chain - from initial recipient identification to final blood administration - occur with a frequency of approximately 1 in 1000 events. Although mistakes occur also within the blood transfusion service, about two-thirds of errors are associated with incorrect blood recipient identification at the patient's bedside. To prevent the potentially fatal consequences of such mistakes, specific tools have been developed, including patient identification bracelets with barcodes and/or radio frequency identification devices, mechanical or electronic locks preventing access to bags assigned to other patients, and palm computers suitable for transferring blood request and administration data from the patient's bedside to the blood transfusion service information system in real time. The effectiveness of these systems in preventing mistransfusion has been demonstrated in a number of studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-101
Number of pages5
JournalVox Sanguinis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


  • Blood transfusion
  • Identification
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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