Barcoded labels and on-demand printing must be used whenever possible.
The design, content and use of labels for blood components should conform to specifications set out in Chapters 23 and 26. It is planned that a more extensive library of relevant blood component labels will be available within the electronic component portfolio being developed for the website for the Guidelines for the Blood Transfusion Services in the United Kingdom.1
Procedures should be established to ensure labels are satisfactory for their intended use.
Pre-printed labels to be attached to blood donations, documentation and components should be stored under secure conditions.
The use of a unique barcoded/eye-readable donation number links the donation to its donor. Donation numbers must be attached to all integral packs, sample tubes and corresponding documents at the time of donation.
When component production requires the use of subsidiary packs which are not an integral part of the pack assembly (e.g. filtration, pooling, freezing), a secure system must be in place to ensure that the correct eye-readable and barcoded donation number is placed on each additional pack used.
When components are pooled there should be a system that ensures that the pool carries a unique barcoded and eye-readable identification number(s). This barcode must be able to be read by component manufacturers and blood banks.
When a component is divided a secure system must be in place to ensure that all sub-batches can be traced.