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Transfus Med. 2008 Oct;18(5):302-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3148.2008.00884.x.

A tabletop exercise to assess a hospital emergency blood management contingency plan in a simulated acute blood shortage.

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Department of Haematology, Sunderland Royal Hospital, Sunderland, UK.


The objective was to assess both our local plan and the assumptions made in the national guidelines on how laboratories should prepare for an acute shortage of red cells. The Chief Medical Officer's National Blood Transfusion Committee for England and North Wales has issued guidance on how hospitals should prepare contingency plans to deal with a shortage of red cells for transfusion. This study has therefore assessed the practicalities of these proposals together with assessing how well local policies would deal with this situation. A tabletop exercise was carried out in which all requests over a 21-day period were assessed. The restrictions as suggested by the national blood transfusion committee were applied and the impact on the blood stocks during an acute blood shortage was assessed. The results show that application of the national guidelines on the restriction of the use of red cells during an acute blood shortage resulted in all transfusion requests for red cells being met. We also appear to have shown that the assumptions made by the national transfusion team are realistic. Carrying out a tabletop exercise is a useful method to assess local procedures for dealing with an acute reduction in the supply of red cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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