New System Aims to Improve Blood Transfusion Safety

Using national data, CDC will monitor adverse events related to transfusions
By Andrea Mongler
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has started a national surveillance system to monitor adverse events in patients who receive blood transfusions, the agency has announced.

The new system is called the Hemovigilance Module, and it is part of the CDC's Internet-based National Healthcare Safety Network. With the coordinated national network, the CDC will be able to summarize national data to help determine how to prevent medical errors, adverse transfusion events such as reactions to blood products, and process problems.

The CDC is encouraging health care facilities across the nation to enroll in the new system to improve patient safety. Through the Hemovigilance Module, hospitals will submit data to the CDC confidentially, enabling the agency to review all national data. Previously, transfusion-related events were monitored by hospitals themselves.

"This is an important advance in monitoring the safety of transfusions for patients nationwide. This system will enable health care facilities to better recognize blood transfusion-related adverse events so that they can improve the care of patients who have transfusions," Matthew J. Kuehnert, M.D., director of the CDC's Office of Blood, Organ, and Other Tissue Safety in Atlanta, said in a Feb. 18 press release.

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