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Patient Identification for Pretransfusion Testing

Identification of the patient for pretransfusion testing is of critical importance. Positive identification of the patient implies that the patient’s name and hospital number are known. In ER, the patient’s name may be substituted by ‘Trauma Patient Male/Trauma Patient Female' or as defined by ER procedures.

  • Identification of the patient must be done by two people, one of which is the person drawing the specimen. The other person may be the patient if they are at least 14 years old and competent to do so. Patients are considered competent to identify themselves if they are capable of responding to the question “what is your name?” by spelling their first and last name and can give their date of birth.
  • Alternatively, the second person identifying the patient may be a member of the patient care unit staff, patient caregiver, physician, another CLS staff or a member of the patient’s family.
  • The responsibility for ensuring that the specimen is drawn from the correct patient and labelled correctly remains with the person performing the phlebotomy.
  • The collector and person who identifes the patient must be documented.

Procedure for Patient Identification

To ensure the correct patient is drawn and that the blood sample is labelled correctly, the following steps must be followed:

In-patient identification:

  • If the patient does not have a hospital ID band (bracelet) have the nursing staff place one on the patient.
  • Ask the patient to spell his/her first and last name. If this is not possible due to the patient’s age or condition, then another responsible adult such as relative, nursing unit staff or a physician may identify the patient. The person who identifies the patient must sign the collection record in the appropriate place, indicating their title or relationship to the patient.
  • Confirm the hospital ID number by comparing and checking the hospital band (bracelet) with the prepared RTSIS form and Pretransfusion Testing requisition. Resolve any discrepancies before proceeding with specimen collection.

Outpatient identification:

  • Ask the patient to spell his/her first and last name. If the patient is a child, a responsible adult such as nursing staff, parent, or a relative may identify the patient by spelling the first and last names.
  • Confirm the hospital ID number or the Personal Health Number, patient name and date of birth by comparing the completed RTSIS form to the patient's Personal Health Number card. In the absence of these, other picture identification that includes the patient’s name and date of birth are acceptable.