Blood Bank Labels: Are Your Informational Markers Up to Code?
As a blood bank, you are responsible for gathering and preserving human plasma used to perform transfusions or other related types of medical operations. The donations are typically stored at a hospital or a designated collection center, which must meet numerous regulations to remain compliant. Standards exist for identifying, labeling, and transferring information involving human derived medical products including:
Blood banks are regulated by specific standards that require the proper labeling for identification and handling. Labeling is critical to the management of human derived products such as plasma. The appropriate markers also ensure the right type is used for a transfusion.
Who is in Charge of Identification Marking Standards?
Two organizations are involved with the handling of standards in this area of healthcare: AABB and ICCBBA. The AABB, previously referred to as the American Association of Blood Banks, now simply goes by its abbreviation. It is a non-for-profit organization that represents anyone working in the fields of transfusion and cellular therapy.
The ICCBBA is an international NGO (non-government organization) who is part of the World Health Organization. This organization manages and develops ISBT 128, which is the international information standard for terminology, coding, and labeling of human derived medical products. The ISBT 128 defines what symbols and information should be placed on labels used to manage these items in a licensed facility.
Using Properly Coded and Symbolized Blood Bank Labels
Blood bank labels should be designed by your supplier to meet the standards defined by ISBT 128. While a big part of this standard is proper identification of biological product by labeling, it also includes the encoding of information for proper transfer between computer systems. A supplier will typically state on their website or during verbal communication whether or not their blood bank labels fulfill these standards.
Blood bank labels come in many forms to meet specific purposes in centers or hospitals storing the products. Tapes to mark items as a biohazard or for refrigeration may also be acquired from the same suppliers. A qualified supplier will be able to offer these types of blood bank labels:
- Antigen Testing
- Award Stickers
- Biohazard Warning
- Blood Bag Preparation
- Blood Tags
- Compatibility Markers
- Group Type Information
When choosing someone to supply these important identifying markers, it is equally essential to understand the materials they use to create them. Do their blood bank labels serve the Codabar and ISBT 128 symbology? Codabar, a barcode symbology, is a standard developed in the 1970’s for accurate reading of blood bank forms among other items. Some products contain this symbology to ensure they can be scanned and monitored within computer systems.
Do the blood bank labels you use durable materials, offer barcoding, provide consecutive numbering, and are they able to withstand certain conditions? These are important questions to ask prior to choosing someone to supply critical handling information components. At Shamrock Labels, our products use a latex free adhesive in addition to the highest quality materials. The materials are glove friendly, able to withstand extreme temperatures, and not harmed in cold storage. Give us a call today to learn how we can meet your blood bank label needs.