Blood Transportation and Massive Transfusion Protocol

Many people have lost their lives due to massive blood loss solely because of improper cold-chain management, or the way that blood can be safely transported to patients, Poor management and untimely delivery of the blood components can also lead to unsafe transfusions.. However, living in a digital era today, blood transfusion has been made easier and faster, all thanks to technology. Some of the severe blood loss cases include surgeries, polytrauma, and obstetric hemorrhage, to mention a few.

Common problems blood banks face

Poor handling of blood and its components


A research study done by WHO shows that 2% of the blood collected from donors for transfusion is often discarded due to several reasons, including poor handling and poor safety management. The blood and blood components that are collected from donors should be transported using blood bags that are pyrogen-free, sterile, and disposable. Additionally, the blood should be transported under the right temperatures, usually between 1°C- 6°C. One of the most important pieces of blood storage and transportation equipment is the portable blood bank refrigerator, which is designed to keep the temperatures consistent.

Lack of knowledge on how to maintain and repair equipment

Poor maintenance of the equipment, such as portable blood bank refrigerators, plasma freezers, platelets agitators, and temperature monitoring devices is one of the biggest issues that medics face in the industry today. For the blood cold chain to be considered effective, the managers should ensure that the staff is trained on how to install, use, monitor, service, and repair the equipment.

Limited resources

Due to limited resources, some of the blood banks opt for domestic refrigerators due to their affordability. These refrigerators, though affordable, were not created for such purposes. They are not able to regulate the necessary temperatures needed for the storage of the blood samples as they do not have temperature monitoring devices. In the cases where the blood bank uses the right equipment but still experiences power surges, the blood and its components may end up being discarded. Managers should, therefore, ensure that they have backup generators that automatically turn on in case of any power surge. This will, in turn, prevent the loss of blood samples that would otherwise be of help during blood transfusions.

Preparations for massive transfusion protocol

  • Massive transfusion protocol, MTP, is initiated in cases where a patient has experienced enormous bleeding. Here are some of the ways medical centers should be prepared for MTP.
  • They should have enough portable blood bank refrigerators as well as other equipment required for safe transportation of blood and its components.
    Come up with guidelines that include lab, clinical, and procurement responses to facilitate MTP.
  • Collection of blood samples should be done in advance to ensure that enough time is allocated for sampling and approval of the safety of the blood.
  • Use the right equipment to identify massive blood loss at an early stage. This, as a result, will enable the early prescription of blood and facilitate timely delivery.