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Regional Transfusion Service Identification System (RTSIS)

The purpose of the Transfusion Medicine Identification System (RTSIS) is to increase safety of the transfusion by establishing a positive, continuous contact between the patient, their specimen, and the crossmatched units of red cells. A unique number (the RTSIS number) is attached to the patient at the time of specimen collection. The same number is applied to their specimen used to crossmatch units. The same number is applied to selected units of red cells. An identical match of the RTSIS number on the transfusion tag with the RTSIS ID band number on the patient ensures transfusion of the red cell product to the patient from whom the specimen was collected.

General Information:

Regional Transfusion Service Identification System (RTSIS) forms (CLS 0997 or TM2199) can be ordered from Data Group of Companies. The bands can be obtained by calling Transfusion Medicine at each site.

  • All specimens collected for the purpose of pretransfusion testing (crossmatch or type and screen) must have the RTSIS applied. Specimens collected without proper use of this system will require recollection.
  • Use of this system is mandatory for all crossmatched (red cell) products. Although pretransfusion testing may be required before plasma components can be provided, the RTSIS number is not applied to components such as platelets and plasma that are not crossmatched.
  • For the convenience of patient care staff to determine the currency of the band, the current date is written on the band at the time of sample collection. If there are any questions about the date (including legibility), contact Transfusion Medicine for directions regarding the need to recollect the sample.
  • If additional specimen is required by the laboratory to complete an antibody identification, application of a new RTSIS number is not necessary. Label additional specimen with the patient’s name, number and RTSIS number transcribed from the yellow RTSIS ID band on the patient.
  • The RTSIS bands (bracelets) are made of vinyl: they are latex free. The clasps are made of stainless steel. Allergies to the band are rare. Contact TM about the use of the alternate bracelets for patients who demonstrate allergies to the bracelets.
  • The RTSIS numbers on the band insert are coated with a water-resistant material that allows them to withstand long use and exposure to water; however, in the rare event that this number becomes illegible, a recollection of the pretransfusion test is required prior to transfusion. Transfusion Medicine should be advised of these occurrences to address the quality of the band insert.

Removal of Bands:

Specimens collected for pretransfusion testing can be used for four days post collection or as defined in "Specimen Outdate" . Once the specimen has expired, or there is no further possibility of transfusion, the RTSIS ID band may be removed. Occasionally, patients may have overlapping specimens. In this case, the patient will have more than one RTSIS ID band.

Patients who have donated their own blood (autologous) will have this system applied at the time the pretransfusion test is collected. The transfusion ID bands must be left on these patients until the autologous units have been transfused, or the possibility of transfusion no longer exists.

If changing the location of the RTSIS ID band becomes necessary, it may be done as long as the RTSIS number and the patient are not physically separated. Bring a new yellow band to the patient. Cut the existing RTSIS ID band on the side of the clasp opposite the RTSIS number. Remove the insert and put it into the new band. Immediately attach the new RTSIS ID band to the patient at the new site.