Department of Health

Managing the availability and safety of blood and blood products

Strategies are used to effectively manage the availability and safety of blood and blood products. (NSQHS Standards, guide for Hospitals, 2017)

In this section are resources to assist health services address the actions in this criterion, which are:

  • 7.9 Storing, distributing and tracing blood and blood products
  • 7.10 Availability of blood.

It is important that all health services have systems to safely and efficiently receive, store, collect, transport blood and blood products and to monitor their wastage and traceability.

Blood use and waste is recorded on the National Blood Authority’s BloodNet, which is currently available nationally.

The 2010 Blood storage and handling report contains an audit tool which may assist health services when developing a blood management and storage policy.

The resources, tools, templates and examples are aimed at helping health services to develop strategies to effectively manage the availability and safety of blood and blood products.

Storing, distribution and tracing blood and blood products 7.9

Victorian traceability requirements of blood and blood products Traceability requirements of blood and blood products - January 2021 replaces the Department of Health and Human Services Circular 32/2008 - traceability of transfused blood and blood products. This document outlines the health services legal responsibility to be able to trace all blood and blood products.

BloodSafe SA - Blood fridge maintenance - an example of a blood fridge maintenance record developed by BloodSafe SA, includes, daily, weekly and monthly checks. This includes temperature chart, alarm tests and battery backup checks.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood - Storage and handling of blood products - The Lifeblood Health professionals webpage provides details on the storage requirements of blood components.

Eastern Health - 30 minute 4 hour rule, what does it mean? Information sheet - 2020 (7.9, 7.10) - Developed by Eastern Health, this document provides information about what the 30 minute/4 hour rule is and what it means in clinical practice.

Eastern Health - Blood in motion, Esky for transport - 2020 (7.9, 7.10) - developed by Eastern Health providing instructions on the use of the Blood in Motion blood transportation system; what it does and when, why and how it’s used.

Availability of blood 7.10

National Blood Authority - BloodNet (7.9) BloodNet is the NBA’s web-based system used by health services to order blood and blood products. The NBA offers supporting material for its use.

Austin Health - Accessing blood from the blood fridge clinical procedure - 2020 (7.1, 7.10) - developed by Austin Health outlining the process for placing blood into and removing it from the operating suite blood fridge.

Template emergency blood management plan - The National Blood Authority has developed a National Blood Supply Contingency Plan to ensure a rapid response should there be threat to the safe and adequate supply of blood. It is expected that health services have an Emergency Blood Management Plan to ensure an appropriate response should the NBSCP be activated. The template is designed to be modified by health services to suit local requirements, while meeting the intention of the NBSCP.

Template emergency blood management plan - the National Blood Authority has developed a National Blood Supply Contingency Plan to ensure a rapid response should there be a threat to the safe and adequate supply of blood. It is expected that health services have an Emergency Blood Management Plan to ensure an appropriate response should the NBSCP be activated. The template is designed to be modified by health services to suit local requirements while meeting the intention of the NBSCP.

COVID 19 Newsletters and posters

A series of newsletters developed by Blood Matters to provide information regarding the safety and security of the blood supply and measures to reduce use, prevent waste and ensure staff safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reviewed 22 March 2022

Health.vic

Contact details

Blood Matters Program Australian Red Cross Lifeblood

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