• Document: Improving the Blood Supply Chain with Advanced Shipping and Storage Materials
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Improving the Blood Supply Chain with Advanced Shipping and Storage Materials Innovative Ways to Reduce Waste, Inefficiencies, and Compliance Hassles Abstract Transporting blood products from donor to patient for transfusion is often an inefficient and costly process. In fact, the modern blood supply chain includes 7 points of failure where any delays, miscommunications, or procedural issues can cause serious problems. Most blood banks, diagnostic labs, and hospitals use blood transport and storage materials that may not have been designed or ideally suited for that purpose. This creates inefficiencies in handling, and requires time-consuming validation to remain compliant with regulations. Blood products are costly, and any spoilage can cause shortages and put human lives at risk. And any avoidable losses affect the financial results for the blood banks and hospitals handling those products. A more reliable, cost-effective solution for transporting blood products is needed. This paper explores this issue and concludes that advanced packaging for this purpose is now available. 2 | packmaxq.com | ©2017 MaxQ Research Ltd. All rights reserved. Contents The Blood Supply Chain 4 The Problem: Inefficient and Costly Blood Transport 6 What Hospitals and Blood Banks Use Today 9 Selecting Blood Transport and Bedside Storage Materials 11 Advanced Materials from MAXQ 13 Conclusion 16 About MAXQ 17 References 18 3 | packmaxq.com | ©2017 MaxQ Research Ltd. All rights reserved. The Blood Supply Chain As shown in Figure 1, blood and blood products must go through a series of steps before they are transfused into the patient. This is known as the blood supply chain, which may be defined as a temperature-controlled supply chain. At each step in the blood supply chain, precise temperatures must be maintained to ensure the integrity of the blood products. Too cold or too warm, and the blood products may become unusable. Blood tested, processed and stored within precise measure by blood bank Blood units packaged 2 3 and transported to blood bank Transfusion 4 Blood components 1 Blood Supply packaged and transported to hospital Donor gives blood Chain 7 5 Blood products received 6 and stored within precise measures by hospital Patient receives blood transfusion Blood components packaged and delivered to patient bedside Figure 1: The 7 critical steps in the Blood Supply Chain 4 | packmaxq.com | ©2017 MaxQ Research Ltd. All rights reserved. Steps in the Blood Supply Chain (1) The donor gives blood. (2) After donation, blood units and donor blood specimens are placed into cold storage containers and transported to the blood bank which may be many miles away. (3) At the bank, blood is tested, processed, and stored according to precise specifications determined by the blood bank in compliance with AABB standards. (4) When ordered, blood products are again placed within cold storage containers and transported to the hospital or other location where blood is needed. (5) When received by the hospital, the blood products are again stored according to precise specifications determined by the hospital in compliance with AABB standards. (6) When ordered by the physician, blood products are packaged and delivered to the patient’s bedside. (7) Finally, the blood is transfused into the patient as needed. Each of t

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