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September 1, 1978

Blood Banking Automation

Author Affiliations

From the Blood Bank (Dr Wolf), the New York Hospital; the Department of Pathology (Dr Wolf), Cornell University Medical College, New York; Department of Pathology (Dr Muirhead), Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis; and the Department of Medicine (Dr Muirhead), University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences, Memphis.

JAMA. 1978;240(9):853-854. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290090047015

THE INCOMPATIBLE blood transfusion remains a great danger in hemotherapy. It perhaps is most hazardous to the patient when it involves his receiving incompatible red blood cells. Pain, shock, chills, fever, and renal failure with acute tubular necrosis, abnormal bleeding due to disseminated intravascular coagulation, and death can result.

Modern blood bank laboratory techniques readily recognize most incompatibilities in the test tube, and new automated testing equipment is further reducing the chances for technical errors. As a result, incompatible blood transfusions mostly result from human error,1 which can occur from before the drawing of blood up to the moment of transfusion. Human error refers to clerical errors made identifying patient specimens; in transcribing information from the donor record to the blood-bag label, from the label to various recording sheets and logbooks, from one label to another label; and most important, in matching donor blood information with intended recipient requirements