The Impact of Blood Donation Labels on Patients and Providers

Of the biological organs and substances that people donate to help others with health conditions, human blood is the most common. According to the American Red Cross, “The number of blood donations collected in the U.S. in a year [is] 15.7 million.” By extension, this statistic also means that there are at least 15.7 million blood donation labels that are applied to blood bags each year.

Blood labels contain straightforward information about the donor that is commonly printed in indelible ink that will not streak or run when the label is wet. However, the integrity of the ink means nothing if the integrity of the label is not secure, as well. At Shamrock Labeling Systems, we supply blood donation labels that won’t “flag” and start to pull away from the blood container.

Blood Donation Errors
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that “414 blood transfusion errors occur annually”. Sometimes, the errors result in death. For example, the FDA relates the story of two such fatalities. “A patient who switched beds with her roommate to be near the window died after she received a blood transfusion with her roommate’s blood type.” Separately, “At a veteran’s hospital, a Navy veteran died after receiving a plasma transfusion of the wrong blood type.” His blood sample was accidentally switched with another patient’s without a confirmation test.

These examples show just how easy it is for patients to suffer tragic results from receiving the wrong blood. Neither of the situations resulted from an error with blood donation labels, but they demonstrate how easily such an error could throw a wrench in the process of restoring a patient’s health. For the sake of national rankings and patient health outcomes, hospitals strive to render health care with great efficiency, and they partly depend on labeling products to do it.

Labels That Don’t Flag
Blood labels “flag” when one or more of their corners start to pull away from the bag that they adhere to. This may not seem like a big problem — most of the label is still affixed, after all — but looks can be deceiving. When a blood label starts to noticeably flag, some health care providers will reject it out of concern that the label may have been switched or misapplied in some way.

Get Your Blood Labels Here
At Shamrock Labels, supplying blood donation labels that don’t flag, succumb to wetness, and are tested for storage at various temperatures is one of our specialties. We recognize the high toll that blood transfusion mistakes can take on the patient and the health care provider. That is why we’re committed to providing only the best products, even if it means creating a custom solution. For assistance choosing labels, call us today at (800) 323-0249.

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