Test Directory

Transfusion Reaction Investigation

Containers - Adult

Blue Cap 4.5ml Sarstedt
Volume Range


Additive per Container


Containers - Child

Blue Cap 4.5ml Sarstedt
Volume Range


Additive per Container


Reference ranges


Laboratory Site

Howden Road West
West Lothian
EH54 6PP
Telephone: 01506 523000
Crewe Road South
Telephone: 0131 537 1000

Transport arrangements

​Samples MUST be received IMMEDIATELY after collection

Sample storage arrangements

Store at 4oC​

Special instructions for collection

​Venesection of the sample must be AWAY from the site of blood infusion.

NHS Lothian operates a Zero Tolerance approach in relation to blood sample acceptance criteria. Errors in patient identification and sample labelling may lead to ABO-incompatible transfusions.

The demographics on the samples MUST be hand written, legible and MUST match exactly to the accompanying request form. Samples labelled with an addressograph or where evidence of an addressograph have been attached will be discarded. Samples with errors or where patient core identifiers have been obliterated will be discarded.

Sample Labelling

The following patient identifying data and sampler signature is mandatory -

  • CHI number (or Hospital Number where no CHI number is available - See CHI exceptions)*
  • Surname
  • Forename
  • Date of Birth
  • Signature

Sample Labelling for Unknown Patients

  • Surname / Forename = UNKNOWN
  • Temporary Identification Number = beginning with 700
  • Gender
  • Sample dated and signed

Once patients details become known, a new sample must be sent to the laboratory

Request Form Labelling

Addressograph labels are acceptable for request forms. If the form is handwritten then the information must be clear, legible and MUST contain the following data identifiers -

  • Surname
  • Forename
  • Date of Birth
  • CHI Number (See CHI exceptions)*
  • Name and signature of the person taking the sample
  • Name of the requesting clinician. (For component requests, this is the Doctor or authorised Nurse that has prescribed the transfusion)
  • Clinical details are desirable but are not essential

*CHI Exceptions

Not all patients will have a CHI number. If the patient is a genuine CHI exception then the Hospital number is acceptable and MUST be used. A CHI number may not be available in the following circumstances -

  • Foreign visitors
  • Patients from England, Wales and Ireland
  • Patients not registered with a GP in Scotland
  • Patients currently remanded within Her Majesty's Prisons
  • Patients in the armed forces
  • Newborn infants <3 days old.

A MINIMUM of 2.0ml of blood is required for adult specimens.

How to request

​If a transfusion reaction is suspected then stop the transfusion immediately and contact the Blood Transfusion Laboratory for advice. The Biomedical Scientist will instruct on how to proceed. All suspected transfusion reactions must be discussed with the Haematology Registrar (contact via switchboard). The registrar will decide whether a full Transfusion Reaction Investigation is warranted.

All Transfusion Reaction Investigation requests must be made via request form

  • Obtained from the Blood Transfusion Laboratory (WGH / SJH)


​No restrictions: A Transfusion Reaction Investigation will be carried out at any time, where deemed appropriate by the Haematology Registrar.

Anticipated turnaround

​Dependant on complexity of the investigation.

What happens if the result is positive or abnormal

​If the Transfusion Reaction Investigation is 'Positive', the Haematology Registrar will be informed, who will then contact the referring doctor and discuss how best to proceed. Please provide a telephone / bleep number.