Reduction of inappropriate use of blood products by prospective monitoring of transfusion request forms.

To determine the effect of prospective monitoring on appropriateness of transfusions of red cells, platelets and fresh frozen plasma (FFP).


Prospective interventional study.


Royal Melbourne Hospital (a tertiary teaching hospital), Melbourne, Victoria, March-May 1996.


The blood product request form was modified to incorporate indications for transfusion and clinical and laboratory data. Requests were monitored by blood bank laboratory staff for conformation with hospital transfusion guidelines; non-conforming requests were discussed with the requesting medical practitioner by the Haematology Registrar before blood products were issued. In case of disagreement, blood products were always issued.


200 consecutive transfusion episodes for each product (red cells, platelets and FFP).


Appropriateness of transfusion, assessed by a Consultant Haematologist according to hospital guidelines. Rates of inappropriate transfusion episodes after intervention were compared with rates in a previous study.


After intervention, rates of inappropriate transfusion episodes fell significantly (red cells, 16% to 3% [P = 0.004]; platelets, 13% to 2.5% [P = 0.02]; and FFP, 31% to 15% [P = 0.02]). Almost all inappropriate FFP transfusion episodes post-intervention were due to failure to demonstrate prolongation of prothrombin or activated partial thromboplastin times more than 1.5 times the control value.


Prospective monitoring of request forms can reduce rates of inappropriate transfusions. High rates of inappropriate FFP transfusions possibly reflect uncertainty about appropriate laboratory criteria for FFP transfusion. While results of large prospective randomised controlled clinical trials of FFP transfusions are awaited, currently laboratory criteria can be retained, but should be applied with flexibility.


OverigOrganizational interventionsBehandeling zonder medicatie



Tuckfield A
Haeusler MN
Grigg AP
Metz J