Blood Bank

Specimen Collection for Pretransfusion Testing

All patients who are collected for blood products, blood components, or “Type and Screen” must have a patient wristband. Only trained personnel may draw the blood bank specimen. Trained personnel consists of laboratory phlebotomists and technologists, or nurses from oncology, dialysis, surgery, or other trained nurses. MMC education department trains newly hired nurses.

The patient must be wristbanded PRIOR TO drawing the blood bank specimen. Three unique identifiers are used to positively identify the patient: name, date of birth and medical record number. The three identifiers on the specimen must also match the identifiers printed on the patient’s wristband. If this rule is not followed, the specimen will not be accepted.


Before attaching a wristband to a patient, confirm positive identification of the patient using name, date of birth, and medical record identifiers.

Specimen Tube Label

Collect the blood specimen in a 6 mL pink-top EDTA Vacutainer ® tube (invert at least 10 times). While you are still at the patient’s bedside, attach the specimen label securely to the tube, verifying the information matches the wristband. If the Blood Bank Meditech labels for that specimen are available, you may put this label over the specimen label. The blood collector must be identified for permanent records. The ID mnemonic of the blood collector will be entered into the Meditech system.

Do not centrifuge the specimen. Send the properly labeled tube to the blood bank for testing. The specimen is to be kept at room temperature (ambient) and must be received within 4 hours of collection. This is available for three days.

Autologous Donation — Policy

  • Meadville Medical Center
  • Central Blood Bank – Pittsburgh Donor Services


Central Blood Bank’s special donations office phone number for patient use is 1-800-310-9552. Autologous or directed donation hotline for physician and hospital use is 1-888-413-7955. If you haven’t received notification of an autologous unit that has been drawn, or any other questions, call the hotline.

Autologous Donation –Patient Fact Sheet can be distributed to the prospective donor. The fact sheet can be copied and given to the patient. Physicians must be familiar with this fact sheet so that the required information is on the prescription that is given to the patient.

Donations are scheduled on Mondays between 2 PM and 7 PM at Crawford County Community Center, 1034 Park Ave., Meadville, PA. The patient will be scheduled to donate one unit at a time. It will be recommended that they wait seven days between donations.

There will be a printout notification of the patient’s schedule for the autologous program faxed to the hospital. If unsuccessful, or donor does not keep appointment, the hospital will be notified.

The physician must specify the number of autologous blood units in their orders upon admission. For example: 2 units of Autologous Red Cells

Record Keeping

Physicians must order the number of autologous units that they requested to have available for a patient’s surgery. (Do NOT order “Type and Screen”). When the pre-deposited autologous units are received at Meadville Medical Center, two letters will be distributed. One letter will be sent to the physician’s office stating that an autologous unit has been drawn with the name of the patient and the date the unit is stored at Liberty St. Blood Bank. Another letter with the same information will be sent to admissions for the patient’s chart with a green label that states, “PLEASE SPECIFY AUTOLOGOUS WHEN ORDERING BLOOD” to be put on the patient’s chart by nursing upon admission.


Clerical check at the bedside is essential. The patient is drawn and banded as required for all crossmatches and transfusions. The Blood Bank performs pretransfusion testing on all units.

A unit is available for use until 35 days after collection. If surgery is postponed it is possible to freeze the unit of blood. Contact CBB for further details. Authorization to Freeze Autologous Units form is available through MMC blood bank.

References: AABB Technical Manual, 25th Edition, 2008