Patient Identification at the Time of Specimen Collection - Options for Error Prevention

Please note: AABB reserves the right to make updates to this program.

Live Program: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - On-Demand Available

Master Program Number: 19EL-400 (see program format numbers below under Registration)

Educational Track: Technical/Clinical
Topic: Transfusion Medicine
Intended Audience: Hospitals, Hospital Blood Banks, Laboratory Staff, Managers/Supervisors, Medical Directors, Nurses, Perfusionists, Physicians, Resident/Fellow, Students (MD, MT, SBB), Technologists, Transfusion Safety Officers
Teaching Level: Basic to Intermediate

Director/Moderator: Nancy M. Dunbar, MD, Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH
Speaker: Richard Kaufman, MD, Medical Director, Brigham and Women's Hospital Transfusion Service, Associate Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. Please note: Dr. Mark Yazer, University of Pittsburgh, contributed to the development of the program but was not able to attend the live program to present.

Learning Objectives

After participating in this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • List the three available options for confirmation of recipient ABO group as specified in AABB Standard 5.14.5.
  • Examine evidence demonstrating that specimens with minor labeling errors are at increased risk for wrong blood in tube (WBIT) errors.
  • Summarize results of the Testing the Utility of collecting Blood samples Electronically (TUBE) Study comparing the rates of sample collection errors in centers using traditional patient identification methods to those using electronic patient identification systems.

Program Description

Appropriate patient identification at the time of specimen collection is critical for safe transfusion. When the sample for transfusion is misidentified (i.e. wrong blood in tube/WBIT), ABO incompatible transfusions can occur resulting in patient morbidity or mortality. Current AABB Standards specify requirements for verification of the recipients ABO group to reduce risk for mistransfusion. Included among the available options is the use of electronic patient identification systems. In this program, the presenters will review current options available to meet pre-transfusion testing requirements, discuss evidence supporting rejection of specimens with minor labeling errors, and present data from the Testing the Utility of collecting Blood samples Electronically (TUBE) Study to determine whether use of electronic patient identification systems reduce sample collection errors.


   Program #
Single Viewer: On-Demand Register19EL-400-4035
Group Viewing: On-Demand Register19EL-400-8035

Continuing Education Credit

AABB designates both the live and on-demand version of this eCast each eligible for 1 continuing education credits/contact hours for Physicians, General Participation, California Nurse, California Lab Personnel and Florida Lab Personnel. The number and type of credits awarded for this program (both live and on-demand) was determined by the program duration. For more information on each credit type please visit our Continuing Education Credits webpage.

Disclosures for the planners of this event can be found here. Disclosures for the program faculty are provided at the beginning of the program.

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Richard Kaufman is the medical director of the blood bank and transfusion service at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and an associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from Duke University in Durham, N.C. and his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. He completed both his clinical pathology residency and transfusion medicine fellowship training at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. He is board-certified in clinical pathology and has subspecialty certification in blood banking and transfusion medicine. He currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Transfusion, AABB’s scholarly, peer-reviewed monthly journal. In addition, he was most recently a member of the AABB Board of Directors and has been an active member of AABB since 2000. As a member of AABB’s Clinical Transfusion Medicine Committee, Kaufman led the development of AABB’s platelet transfusion guidelines.

Dr. Mark Yazer (program content contributor) graduated from medical school at the University of Ottawa and completed his residency in hematological pathology at the University of Alberta. He is currently a professor of pathology at the University of Pittsburgh, and the medical director of the RBC serology laboratory at the centralized transfusion service in Pittsburgh, one of the largest transfusion services in North America. He is also an adjunct professor of clinical immunology at the University of Southern Denmark. Mark has published over 150 peer reviewed papers, and is an associate editor of the journal Transfusion Medicine and the journal Hematology. He is on the editorial board of 4 other journals. He is the chairman of the AABB’s molecular testing standards unit, and the co-chairman of the AABB/THOR working group. He is on the scientific advisory/speakers board of 7 corporations, and he has given more than 200 lectures on his research worldwide. His research interests include patient blood management, blood utilization in trauma, and electronic enhancements for patient safety.