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Vossoughi S, Perez G, Whitaker BI, et al. Transfusion (Paris). 2019;59:2827-2832.
This analysis of transfusion-related safety incident reports found that such events were more commonly reported for pediatric compared to adult patients. This finding could reflect differences in reporting practices or underlying transfusion safety differences. The authors call for continued attention to transfusion safety.
First admitted to the hospital at 25 weeks of pregnancy for vaginal bleeding, a woman (G5 P2 A2) received 4 units of packed red blood cells and 2 doses of iron injections. She was discharged after 3 days with an improved hemoglobin level. At 35 weeks, she was admitted for an elective cesarean delivery. Intraoperatively, an upper uterine segment incision was made and the newborn was delivered in good condition. Immediately after, a subtotal hysterectomy was performed. The anesthesiologist noted that the patient was hypotensive; blood was transfused.
Kaufman RM, Dinh A, Cohn CS, et al. Transfusion (Paris). 2019;59:972-980.
Wrong-patient errors in blood transfusion can lead to serious patient harm. Research has shown that use of barcodes to ensure correct patient identification can reduce medication errors, but less is known about barcoding in transfusion management. This pre–post study examined the impact of barcode labeling on the rate of wrong blood in tube errors. Investigators found that use of barcoding improved the accuracy of labels on blood samples and samples that had even minor labeling errors had an increased chance of misidentifying the patient. The authors conclude that the results support the use of barcoding and the exclusion of blood samples with even minor labeling errors in order to ensure safe blood transfusion. An accompanying editorial delineates the complex workflow, hardware, and software required to implement barcoding for transfusion. A past WebM&M commentary discussed an incident involving a mislabeled blood specimen.
Cohen R, Ning S, Yan MTS, et al. Transfus Med Rev. 2019;33:78-83.
Inaccurate patient registration can result in information gaps that contribute to delay, misunderstandings, and harm. This review discusses registration errors in the blood transfusion process. The authors discuss how problems can occur during various stages in the transfusion process and result in blood-type discrepancies. They suggest improved reporting of identification mistakes and use of photo identification tools as strategies to prevent patient harm associated with registration errors.
Najafpour Z, Hasoumi M, Behzadi F, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2017;17:453.
Failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) is a tool that facilitates prospective risk assessment and is frequently used to assess the risk of various processes in health care. The authors describe the use of FMEA at a single institution to improve the safety of the blood transfusion process.
Maskens C, Downie H, Wendt A, et al. Transfusion (Paris). 2014;54:66-73; quiz 65.
In this study, the vast majority of transfusion-related patient harm was due to blood products ordered inappropriately outside of hospital guidelines. On the laboratory side, the most serious threat to patient safety was mislabeled blood samples.
At a skilled nursing facility, an elderly woman with myelodysplastic syndrome was found to be mildly anemic, and her oncologist arranged for her to be sent to the hospital and transfused with 2 units of blood. Less than 1 hour after the second unit of blood finished transfusing, the patient rapidly worsened and had a respiratory arrest.
Rice-Townsend S, Hall M, Jenkins KJ, et al. J Pediatr Surg. 2010;45:1126-36.
This study sought to characterize the incidence and types of adverse events in pediatric surgery patients, using measures (the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program and the AHRQ Patient Safety Indicators) originally developed for identifying adverse events in adults. The authors argue that applying adult measures to a pediatric population overestimates the incidence of adverse events.

Simmons D, ed. Crit Care Nurs Clin North Am. 2010;22:161-290. 

Articles in this special issue discuss safe practices, effective staffing, teamwork, and event analysis to enhance patient safety in the critical care setting.
Snijders C, van Lingen RA, Klip H, et al. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2009;94:F210-5.
Incident reporting systems are one mechanism for hospitals to both identify and potentially prevent adverse events, although they have frequently failed to meet those expectations. This study describes findings from a voluntary system that produced a significant increase in reported neonatal events, many of which were associated with patient morbidity.
Following spinal surgeries, two different patients developed tachycardia, hypotension, and hypoxia due to sepsis. Given the similarity in clinical course, the hospital investigated and found that both patients had received platelets contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus.