A survey of blood transfusion errors in Aichi Prefecture in Japan: Identifying major lapses threatening the safety of transfusion recipients

Masaki Ri, Masanobu Kasai, Akio Kohno, Masaru Kondo, Masashi Sawa, Tomohiro Kinoshita, Isamu Sugiura, Yasuo Miura, Kazuhito Yamamoto, Toshiki I. Saito, Yukiyasu Ozawa, Tadashi Matsushita, Hidefumi Kato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite recent progress in blood systems, transfusion errors can occur at any time from the moment of collection through to the transfusion of blood and blood products. This study investigated the actual statuses of blood transfusion errors at institutions of all sizes in Aichi prefecture. Materials and methods: We investigated 104 institutions that perform 98 % of the blood transfusions in Aichi prefecture, and investigated the errors (incidents/accidents) that occurred at these facilities over 6 months (April to September, 2017). Incident/accident data were collected from responses to questionnaires sent to each institution; these were classified according to the categories and risk levels. Results: Ninety-seven of the 104 institutions (93.3 %) responded to the questionnaire; a total of 688 incidents/accidents were reported. Most (682 cases; 99.2 %), were classified as risk level 2; however, 6 were level 3 and over, which included problems with autologous transfusion and inventory control. Approximately one-half of the incidents/accidents (394 cases; 57.3 %), were related to verification and the actual administration of blood products at the bedside; more than half of these incidents/accidents occurred at large-volume institutions. Meanwhile, a high frequency of incidents/accidents related to transfusion examination and labeling of blood products was observed at small- or medium-sized institutions. The reasons for most of these errors were simple mistakes and carelessness by the medical staff. Conclusions: Our results emphasize the importance of education, operational training, and compliance instruction for all members of the medical staff despite advances in electronic devices meant to streamline transfusion procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102735
JournalTransfusion and Apheresis Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 06-2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology


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