Blood transfusions in ER

  1. Do any of you work in facilities that have a continuing education requirement or tracking system of how often you hang blood in your facility? Apparently there has been a policy in place, that has not been too strictly enforced, that in order to be certified to hang blood one must do it once a month and have it documented on some form that I have never seen, or call the IV team to hang it for you. My coworkers are in an uproar! Of course, if it is an emergency to transfuse, then there are no repercussions (sp?). Now, I ask you, don't you think that if the transfusion is ordered in the ER, then it is an emergency? Am I competent to monitor? Of course. If you ask me, the setting up part is easy, the monitoring part is where the experience should come in to identify a potential or possible rx. before it is in full swing. What do you all think?
    Last edit by amy on Jul 3, '02
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    About amy

    Joined: Jul '01; Posts: 168; Likes: 11
    ER nurse


  3. by   nilepoc
    Personally I just don't get the whole idea of having an IV team, we do all of or own IV therapy. Matter of fact the floors regularly call down for ICU and ER nurses to come help them.

    As for the blood, our policy is you can hang it after getting it checked with another licensed care provider, (nurse doctor) and doing your yearly competency. No other requirements. This is good, as sometimes we go through a pile of blood. A few months ago I personally put in forty units of PRBCs on a unstable pelvis while in Angio embolising the bleeders. This was over 70 minutes, would your IV team be willing to do that? Or do they even know how to manage a level one?

  4. by   P_RN
    Nilepoc, me too. I haven't worked a place that HAD an IV team so I really have no experience.....I just learned how to start IVs very well and seldom needed to call for help.

    When I did need help, the other 8 or 9 nurses on the unit could do it as well as I could.

    We had a skills fair once a year for the machines and lifting etc, and had a CNS or certified nurse review our transfusion skills.

    No problems there. As far as keeping track of which units....I don't know if they kept an actual list, but it would be in medical records in the notes and also on the lab sheet where the back of the blood ticket was placed.
  5. by   yako
    Hie Brian'
    Thanks For Allowing Me To Join This So Proud To Be Part Of It.
  6. by   Katnip
    Having to hang blood once a month is a bit much. I've gone months at a time without having to do it in the ER. Lots of nurses do. We do annual competencies, and that's all we need.

    Really, hanging blood isn't rocket science. There is a protocol for safety to follow, and the standard frequent vital signs before, during, and after transfusion.
  7. by   Aneroo
    To my knowledge, we do not have something in place tracking how often you hang blood. I am still on orientation, so haven't had to do any of the yearly stuff yet.
    We hang bloood/products a lot down there. If a code red trauma comes in, there is automatically 2 units in the room if needed.
    It was something we learned how to do in nursing school. We check it off with another RN. A LPN can hang blood, but has to check it off with a RN. -Andrea