The blood transfusion service is part of the haematology department and works very closely with the clinical haematology service to provide specialist care to patients with disorders of the blood.
The transfusion laboratory is responsible for issuing blood products for transfusions and annually the department issues more than 30,000 units of blood components, including red cells, plasma and platelets each of which has to be carefully cross-matched to each patient.
You can find out information on the haematology department service pages.
The primary role of the blood transfusion laboratory is to ensure that any patient who requires a blood transfusion receives a safe transfusion. The patient's blood sample is carefully tested, firstly determining the blood group and then testing and matching the patient's sample against samples of donated blood given by volunteer donors to detect if there are any red cell antibodies present in the patient which may cause problems upon transfusion of the donated blood (cross-matched). Only when the laboratory is completely satisfied that the blood is safe and correctly matched will it be issued for transfusion to the patient.
The main blood product provided by the transfusion laboratory is red cells and each pack or unit of blood contains about 300ml of concentrated red cells which have been carefully screened for pathogens such as hepatitis.The laboratory also supplies plasma and platelets which are needed to help patients who have problems with blood clotting.
As well as blood cross-matching, the laboratory performs tests on blood samples from ante-natal ladies to check their Rhesus group and to see if they have any antibodies to the Rhesus group which might affect their unborn baby.
The blood transfusion laboratory services are provided by The Doctors Laboratory (TDL).