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New blood tracking system

A Suffolk hospital has introduced one of the country’s first electronic tracking systems to keep tabs on blood packs for transfusions.

Bosses at West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, showed off the new barcode technique, which has been designed to help the unit operate to the highest health standards.

The system uses barcodes to monitor individual blood packs, the member of staff taking blood from the lab fridge and, in the future, the hospital wristband of the patient who needs it.

It has been in place for just three months, during which time more than 700 members of staff have been trained in the new system and around 2,000 units of blood have been transfused.

The electronic system bleeps if anything is wrong – if the blood taken from the lab fridge is not correct or if the patient’s wristband does not correspond with who the blood it is intended for.