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Transfusion Medicine

This section provides service information regarding the provision of blood products by Transfusion Medicine.  Information regarding specific Transfusion Medicine testing is listed alphabetically in the Lab Tests section. CLS Transfusion Medicine provides all blood components and products distributed by Canadian Blood Services (CBS).

Service Through Patient Service Centres

Please note the following in regards to transfusion service requests:



The patient is to be transfused in an outpatient clinic…

The patient must arrive with the Pretransfusion Testing Requisition and Regional Transfusion Service Identification System (RTSIS) forms.  If the patient presents without either form, it must be obtained from the physician or clinic referring the patient. Collect the specimen using the RTSIS.

The patient has attended the Preoperative Assessment Clinic…

The patient must arrive with the Pretransfusion Testing Requisition -PAC (TM2199). Alternately, they may arrive with both Pretransfusion Testing Requisition (REQ9004TM) and Regional Transfusion Service Identification System (RTSIS) forms.  If the patient presents without appropriate form(s), they must be obtained from the physician or clinic referring the patient.  Collect the specimen using the RTSIS and give the patient a copy of the Identification Band for Pretransfusion Blood Testing information sheet.

The patient is the potential donor of directed blood products (Directed donations are units collected from a donor that are directed to a specific recipient such as a parent to a child)...

Physicians may call FMC Transfusion Medicine at 403-944-1367 for direction.  FMC staff will request the necessary information and provide the appropriate forms.

Services Provided to Calgary Area Urban Sites

Site Pretransfusion/ 
Diagnostic Testing
Product Procurement 
Emergency Unmatched 
Blood Availability
Alberta Childrens Hospital

On-site, 24 hours/ 7 days a week

24 hours/ 7 days a week Yes
Foothills Medical Centre On-site, 24 hours/ 7 days a week 24 hours/ 7 days a week Yes
Peter Loughheed Centre On-site, 24 hours/ 7 days a week 24 hours/ 7 days a week Yes
Rockyview General Hospital On-site, 24 hours/ 7 days a week 24 hours/ 7 days a week Yes
South Health Campus On-site, 24 hours/ 7 days a week 24 hours/ 7 days a week Yes
South Calgary Health Centre Referred During clinic operational
hours only
Sheldon M Chumir Health Centre Referred 24 hours / 7 days a week No
Airdrie/Cochrane Community Health Centre Referred RhIg only. During laboratory operational hours No

Patient Transfers Between Acute Care Sites:

To reduce unnecessary duplication of testing and provide seamless patient care, protocols have been established to enable the transfer of pretransfusion testing when the patient is transferred between all acute care sites. Appropriate communication is critical to the success of the process. Failure to inform Transfusion Medicine of patient transfers may lead to unrealistic expectations of blood availability.

In order to accommodate this process, the following procedure must be adhered to:

Sending Site:

  • Inform Transfusion Medicine at the receiving site of the patient transfer.
  • Ensure that the patient is wearing the yellow RTSIS ID band.

Receiving Site:

  • Provide the site Transfusion Medicine with notification confirming the patient's regional health record number.
  • Patient care unit staff must follow the direction of the Transfusion Medicine technologist regarding the need to recollect pretransfusion testing to ensure blood is available when required.

Services Provided to Sites External to CLS

TM Test Requests:

  • For all specimen referrals to Transfusion Medicine, the requesting site must complete the TM Specimen Referral Form (TM2089) form  and fax it to Foothills Medical Centre (FMC) Transfusion Medicine (403) 270-7205. Completion of the Pretransfusion Testing Requisition- REQ9004TM is optional. If a CLS Pretranfusion Testing Requisition- REQ9004TM is not used, complete the requisition utilized at the requesting site.
  • For Pretransfusion testing, if the outdate of the type and screen is to be extended beyond 96 hours, the following information is required:
  • Has the patient been transfused within the last 3 months?
  • Has the patient been pregnant within the last 3 months?
  • Antibody investigation requests should include a copy of the investigation already performed at the referring site.
  • When requesting Mother and Cord Blood investigations on manual requisitions, complete a separate Post Natal Requisition (REQ9010TM) for the mother and the cord specimen with patient demographics and the Provincial Healthcare Number on both copies of the form. See requisition for cord blood labelling requirements. 

Specimen Collection and Handling:

 Adverse Reactions to Transfusion:

  • The transfusing site is responsible for recording and reporting all adverse events related to transfusion. FMC performs only the serologic investigation. Responsibility for reporting serious adverse events to CBS and Health Canada and follow up of the patient remain the responsibility of the transfusing site.
  • To request a serological investigation, complete the Notification of Adverse Reactions To Blood Products (TM2034) form and send to FMC TM with post transfusion specimen. (See "Adverse Reaction to Transfusion" in the alphabetical test list in this guide).

Products Dispensed to Hospital Sites:

  • The transfusion site is responsible for retaining records pertaining to the final disposition of units and for all activities related to lookback of units and traceback of patients.
  • All unmatched red cell units have had the ABO group and Rh type confirmed. No additional documentation is placed on the unit of blood to indicate that this testing has been done.
  • All Rh O Negative red cell units to be used as unmatched units should be antigen typed as Kell negative.
  • A three week rotation of unmatched units is scheduled to maintain adequate inventories while allowing the recycling of the units for optimal utilization. This also allows Canadian Blood Services to supply the required units as a standing order.
  • Sites that keep an inventory of 4 unmatched units will receive all 4 units every 3 weeks.
  • Replacement of unmatched units will automatically be sent from CLS Transfusion Medicine to each site.
  • Sites using courier services will be responsible for arranging the pick up of the transport box at CLS Transfusion Medicine, Foothills Medical Centre.
  • The return date for unmatched units will be written on the transfusion tag as “Cancellation Date”.
  • Return unused unmatched units with the transfusion tag attached.
  • Use of CLS transport boxes is acceptable.
  • Sites may request unmatched O Rh Negative units at any time to replace used inventory. These requests will be handled as a Stat request.


  • Recycling Blood Products
  • Components and products that were not dispensed from CLS may be sent to the Foothills Medical Centre in order to allow them to be used prior to outdating.
  • The sending site is responsible for ensuring the units/products is suitable for transfusion prior to sending.  The declaration on the Recycling Blood and Blood Products form must be signed or a similar declaration on alternate documents.
  • Units/products must be packed and transported in compliance with CSTM standards. 
  • Complete a Recycling Blood and Blood Products form and include it in the transport box with the units/products. 
  • Sites using the PathNet LIS -

    Transfer blood components and products to FMC using the appropriate application.  Include the transfer report in the transport box as well as the Recycling Blood and Blood Products form. 


    Products Dispensed to Physicians' Offices:

  • Physicians offices that infuse Rh immune globulin or other products derived from human blood must complete the forms provided with the product. The completed forms must be returned to the dispensing site before more product will be dispensed.
  • Physician offices storing Rh immune globulin or other products derived from human blood are responsible for ensuring that products are stored according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • The transfusion of all blood products must be documented on the patient's chart. The record must include the product type, the date and time of infusion and the unique unit or lot number.
  • A Notification of Administration of Blood or Blood Products (AHS 103684) card, which accompanies the product, must be given to the patient when the product is administered. The form must be placed on the patient's chart. 

    Requests for TM Supplies:

  • Complete the CLS Extra Regional Supply Form (PUR7508) available from the CLS Purchasing Department. This includes all requests for Ident-A-Band bracelets, Pretransfusion Testing Requisition  REQ9004TM (TM2028), Regional Transfusion Service Identification System (RTSIS) forms (CLS0997),and TM Specimen Referral Form (TM2089).
  • Blood product inventory fax forms may be obtained on the CLS website.