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Blood Bank

Blood Bank, Compliance & Safety, General Information, Hemostasis/Coagulation, Referral/Sendouts, Test Utilization

Coagulation Blue Top Tube Shortage

There is currently a national shortage of sodium citrate (“blue top”) blood collection tubes used for coagulation testing as a result of unprecedented demand, in part due to COVID-19 surges, vaccine and treatment development. This is anticipated to last through August 2021. Please take this into consideration when ordering coagulation testing (i.e. Protime, aPTT, Fibrinogen, D-dimer, Lupus Screens, Factor Assays, Mixing Studies, von Willebrand testing, etc.).

Here are additional steps you can take to help:

• Eliminate collection of extra blue top tubes

• Discontinue standing orders for coagulation tests, when possible

• Avoid the use of coagulation tubes as discard tubes

• Please refrain from ordering Lupus Screens ( LAB478) when patients are actively taking non vitamin K antagonists, including apixaban, dabigatran, and rivaroxaban. They have a significant impact on clot-based coagulation testing.  It is best to carry these tests out prior to drug administration or during a trough setting.

• Reduce cancelled specimens by making sure to collect specimens correctly by using the lab catalog for specimen collection instructions.

Thank you for your help during this exceptional time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please use the “Contact Us” link above.

Blood Bank

5-Pack Platelet Update

Effective immediately, Michigan Blood no longer provides 5-pack platelets and Spectrum Health Blood Bank has changed nomenclature for platelet units when they are ordered. In the past, platelets were ordered as a 5-pack which came from 5 separate donors and had a volume of 250 mL. Current process is one single unit of pheresed platelets which comes from a single donor. The volume is 250 mL, an equivalent volume as a 5-pack of pooled random donor platelets. The bonus is that there are now fewer donor exposures when transfusing a unit of platelets. The 5:5:1 ratio still applies for MTPs (massive transfusions).

Questions may be directed to the Blood Bank using the “Contact Us” link above.

Blood Bank, Compliance & Safety

Blood Bank Specimens Require Two Signatures

Effective October 15th, 2017, all specimens collected for Blood Bank must have two signatures on the specimen written in ink that is resistant to smearing after a patient has been identified according to the Patient Identification Policy.

One of the two collectors/witnesses must be a lab staff member, unless specimen is collected in Spectrum Health Surgery, Infusion Center, Special Care Hospital, Cardiac Cath Lab Procedure Room, or a cord blood in Labor and Delivery. For Outpatients, the patient may serve as the witness and initial the tube label. Continue Reading