25.7 Future developments in labelling
In order to achieve full ISBT 128 labelling compliance a number of further changes are required to blood pack labelling. This section identifies the changes that will be required, but at the time of publication a timetable for implementing these changes was not available.
25.7.1 Component labels
The existing Codabar component label will be replaced with the ISBT 128 product code (blood components). The component label is a 50 mm x 50 mm label which is affixed to the lower left quadrant of the base label. The template for the label is indicated in Figure 25.6.
The barcode is the appropriate code taken from the ISBT 128 product code (blood components) database with format:
=l are the data identifiers
a has value 'E' for blood components
oooo is the four-digit sequence which together with the previous character forms the product code
t is the donation type identifier set to 0 in the UK
d is the first split identifier (A–Z) or 0 if not specified
s is the second split identifier (a–z) or 0 if not specified.
The first two lines of text contain the name of the product e.g. 'FRESH FROZEN PLASMA'. Lines three and four contain storage information e.g. 'Store at 4°C±2°C'. The fifth to seventh lines contain attribute descriptions such as 'Irradiated', 'Pack 1 Split 1'. The volume field will contain either the actual or nominal pack volume. Immediately below the barcode will be the unique reference number of the label which will correspond to the eye-readable barcode without the data identifier characters.
Codes for components prepared by the UK Blood Services will be a subset of the ISBT 128 product code (blood components) database. The list of codes approved for use by the UK Blood Services, together with the corresponding UK text approved by the Standing Advisory Committee on Blood Components (SACBC), will be maintained by SACIT. It should however be noted that blood components imported from other countries using ISBT 128 may utilize any of the product codes identified in the ICCBBA database, or may use nationally assigned codes.
New components will have codes assigned as required by SACIT in liaison with SACBC and ICCBBA. Requests for new codes should be made in writing or by e-mail to the Chair of the SACIT.
In the UK the sixth character of the product code (identified as t in the ISBT 128 Standard Technical Specification) may be set to 1 to indicate 'autologous use only'. In all other cases this character is set to zero.
25.7.2 Expiry date barcode
The current Codabar expiry date will be replaced with the ISBT 128 expiry date and time barcode. This has the structure:
Figure 25.6 Component label template
&> are the data identifiers
c designates the century (e.g. 0 for 2000-2099, 1 for 2100–2199)
yy designate the year in the century
jjj is the Julian date (the number of the day in the year, e.g. 022 is 22 JAN)
hh specify the hour (00–23)
mm specify minutes (00–59).
Where it is not necessary to indicate an expiry time hh mm will be set to 23 59. Thus expiry at the end of 22 January 2001 would code as 0010222359.
The expiry date must be presented in eye-readable and barcode formats. When the default 23:59 is used it is not necessary to show the time in the text, since a midnight expiration is assumed. The eye-readable text must be printed with characters of no less than 3 mm height. The content must comprise the day number, the month represented by its first three characters, and the four digit year (e.g. 1 FEB 2001). Where a non-default time is specified in the barcode this should follow the year and be expressed using the 24-hour clock (e.g. 1 FEB 2001 18:00).
The use of the date format DD MMM YYYY avoids problems which may arise due to national differences in the order of the elements of numerically expressed dates. The accepted month abbreviations are JAN; FEB; MAR; APR; MAY; JUN; JUL; AUG; SEP; OCT; NOV; DEC.
25.7.3 Label layout changes
A number of other layout changes are required to make the labels more closely aligned with the international standard:
the donation number eye-readable text will appear below the barcode instead of above
label widths will be standardised at 50 mm, currently the component label is 55 mm and the group label 45 mm
the data characters for the expiry date and blood group will be printed immediately below the barcode in a small font.
A sample layout for a fully modified label is shown in Figure 25.7.
Figure 25.7 Future label layout sample