Transfusion reaction reporting in the era of hemovigilance: where form meets function

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Transfusion services rely on transfusion reaction reporting to provide patient care and protect the blood supply. By voluntary participation in the Hemovigilance Module of the Biovigilance Component of the National Healthcare Safety Network, health care facilities have an opportunity to share institutional transfusion reaction data nationally. An optimally designed reporting form is a critical part of reaction reporting.


All reports of transfusion reactions from 2006 to 2009 were analyzed to evaluate the frequency of reported signs and symptoms and the ability of our reporting form to capture this information. A total of 400 reactions with 879 reported signs and symptoms were reviewed. We then redesigned our reporting form to facilitate participation in hemovigilance reporting and capture with the check-box option at least 90% of historically reported signs and symptoms and all those reported in at least 2% of reactions.


Our original reporting form failed to capture 10 of 32 (31%) signs and symptoms present on the hemovigilance reporting tool. Although our original reporting form contained 27 check-box options, these captured only 657 (74.8%) of reported signs and symptoms. Our redesigned form captures all hemovigilance signs and symptoms. Based on our retrospective review, the new form would also capture up to 95% of previously reported signs and symptoms using the check-box option.


We believe that this study presents an evidence-based approach to the improvement of the transfusion reaction reporting form, which may be attractive for hospitals considering participation in the hemovigilance program.

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