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I forgot to return blood to the bloodbank

Nurses   (2,316 Views 14 Comments)
by Marie_N Marie_N (New Member) New Member

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So Im a new nurse working on L&D and about 1 month off of my two month orientation. I had a patient who was transferred from the antepartum unit due to placenta previa with active bleeding. When I got report I felt like a chicken with its head cut off, I was trying so hard not to panic. Prior to going to the OR a type and cross was sent and a requisition was sent down to the OR to have 2 units of blood on hold for the patient. This was around 4 am. Shortly after the Dr asked to have the blood be on the unit just in case. I called out to the front desk and communicated this to the charge RN. A nurse came to the OR and said the blood would take 30 minutes (at this point the baby was out) but then no one came back to drop the blood to the OR. Soon after the Dr said she no longer needs the blood. When we came out of the OR I told the pacu nurse (who happened to be charge RN) that the blood wasn't needed. When I returned to work the next day nurse after nurse came up to me telling me I left blood in the OR and the blood wasn't sent back down until 5pm the next day. It was so embarrassing and I felt so bad that the blood had to be wasted. However, during the procedure no one came to the OR to hand me the blood, or say that it was in the room (I assumed it never came up) Now, theres an investigation over my head to figure out what exactly happened and I was told by my manager that I could get written up or worse; fired. I know blood is considered a medication and that the nurse is responsible for following through but I'm so nervous and disappointed that one of my first mistakes was such a big one and I'm afraid I wont be able to come back from this. Is there anyone who've had a situation like this but it worked out for you?

Hello OP. I had a similar experience recently. I work in Med-Surg and I made a stupid mistake. Had a patient who was going for procedure in the AM and an order to transfuse platelets at 0800. I work nights so typically an order at 0800 would fall on the day shift nurse to do the transfusion but I always try to help out when I can. At around 6:30 I ask my buddy coworker to fetch platelets. He comes back around 6:45 and we verify the platelets and patient. I stupidly spike the bag of platelets and prime the tubing before checking vitals. When I checked the temperature it's 100.2. Well... I didn't want to begin the transfusion while the patient was having a fever. In our facility we need to hang the platelets within 20 minutes of receiving. I don't know if it was because of the sleepiness or all my other patients suddenly needing things, but I just documented that the patient had a fever and I will endorse the transfusion to the next shift. Told the AM nurse in report that the platelets is still up there but patient is running a fever. I was hoping that the fever would go down and she would be able to hang it. Anywho, I didn't hear about anything until the following week when I was off work and I got a call from a coworker to call our unit. I was told by the day shift charge nurse that the lab manager was getting fussy about the spiked bag of clotted platelets that was returned to lab. To make matters worse, the patient was a former worker at the lab so the bosses in the lab were even more concerned about the issue. Long story short, the day shift charge spoke to the lab director and vouched for me. I spoke with my unit supervisor who said that it was a stupid mistake but she knows that I won't do it again. I signed a paper that states that the unit supervisor reviewed with me regarding the policies and procedures of blood product administration. From level 1-5 it was a level 1 or verbal discipline. She stated that it doesn't stay on my record. If it happens again, she can't guarantee that though (it definitely won't!). But based on what you said, it doesn't seem like it's mainly your fault. Until the investigation is over, I wish you the best of luck!

Edited by dennis8
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This trend of firing nurses for making a mistake is getting ridiculous. It's expensive to hire and orient nurses-no wonder health care costs are soaring. This punitive revolving door of personnel is incredibly wasteful from a financial viewpoint, and completely counter to the goal of creating cohesive, high functioning units with a positive culture and good outcomes.

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