New technique developed by Lancashire Teaching pathology team

The pathology team at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has introduced a new technique to improve patient safety and care.

Blood tests provide a critical role through all phases of a patient journey; but can have a negative impact on some patients. Evidence indicates that blood loss through phlebotomy and flushing of lines for example can contribute directly to anaemia and the subsequent need for blood transfusion.

The pathology team at the Trust wanted to reduce the volume of blood collected for analysis to reduce the need for transfusion and help to maintain the haemodynamic stability of the patient. Therefore, they have introduced a smaller tube for inpatients so that smaller sample volumes are required in serum gel tubes.

Maria Burn, Biomedical Scientist, said: “Due to our advanced technology, we have been able to reduce the blood sample volume for serum tubes by 47%. These tubes have now been adopted across our hospitals and implementation has been seamless. There is no difference to the collection technique and no additional training has been needed.”

Data collected within pathology predicts that 115 litres less blood will be collected from inpatients, for urgent and emergency requests, alone in a six month period.

Martin Myers, Consultant Clinical Biochemist and Laboratory Director of Clinical Biochemistry, said: “Advanced technology in the Preston Blood Sciences Hub and advanced innovation by the pathology department at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals have resulted in a significant quality improvement for patients, where less blood will be taken from the patient during their stay with us.”

“This is a simple innovation but has a huge impact on patient care. The pilot was very successful and has now been rolled out across the hospitals.”