Critical Value Reporting in Transfusion Medicine

Erika M. Reese, Randin C. Nelson, Willy A. Flegel, Karen M. Byrne, Garrett S. Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: While critical value procedures have been adopted in most areas of the clinical laboratory, their use in transfusion medicine has not been reviewed in detail. The results of this study present a comprehensive overview of critical value reporting and communication practices in transfusion medicine in the United States. Methods: A web-based survey was developed to collect data on the prevalence of critical value procedures and practices of communicating results. The survey was distributed via email to US hospital-based blood banks. Results: Of 123 facilities surveyed, 84 (68.3%) blood banks had a critical value procedure. From a panel of 23 common blood bank results, nine results were selected by more than 70% of facilities as either a critical value or requiring rapid communication as defined by an alternate procedure. Conclusions: There was overlap among results communicated by facilities with and without a critical value procedure. The most frequently communicated results, such as incompatible crossmatch for RBC units issued uncrossmatched, delay in finding compatible blood due to a clinically significant antibody, and transfusion reaction evaluation suggestive of a serious adverse event, addressed scenarios associated with the leading reported causes of transfusion-related fatalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-499
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood bank
  • Communication
  • Critical values
  • Results
  • Transfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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