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Haematology & Transfusion

The Haematology and Blood Transfusion laboratories at Darlington Memorial Hospital and the University Hospital of North Durham operate a 24/7 service covering both acute CDDFT sites and GP surgeries across Darlington, North Durham and Durham Dales.

CDDFT Haematology Laboratories

The CDDFT Haematology laboratories are located at DMH and UHND. Each laboratory holds UKAS accreditation for ISO 15189:2012 (UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 8770). The laboratories provide a range of primary Haematological investigations via automated and manual methods. Below is a list of all investigations provided by each site (unless stated otherwise):

  • Full Blood Count
  • Reticulocyte Count
  • Blood Films
  • Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
  • Coagulation Screening (PT, APTT, Fibrinogen)
  • DDimer
  • Malarial Parasites
  • Glandular Fever Screening
  • Sickle Cell Solubility (UHND only)
  • Thrombophilia Screening (UHND only)
  • Lupus Anticoagulant (UHND only)
  • Anti-Xa Assay
  • G6PD screening (UHND only)
  • Haemoglobinopathy Screening (UHND only)
  • Anticardiolipin antibodies (UHND only)
  • Intrinsic Factor Antibodies (UHND only)

CDDFT Transfusion Service

The CDDFT Blood Transfusion Laboratories, located at UHND & DMH, provide a blood transfusion service to all of the trusts main hospitals, community hospitals, hospices and GPs. The Transfusion Department is both MHRA compliant and has been inspected by UKAS (accredited to ISO 15189:2012). The transfusion laboratory participates in all relevant external quality assurance schemes.

The Blood Transfusion Department test repertoire includes blood group and antibody screening (with associated antibody identification), compatibility testing (serological and electronic issue), phenotyping, antenatal serology, kleihauer testing and Direct Antiglobulin Test. The Blood Transfusion Laboratories provide the following services:-

  • Blood Grouping and Antibody Screening - Routinely available on any patient if clinically indicated. For non-medical reasons e.g. travel, sport, insurance or employment, please contact the laboratory for arrangement under Category II Regulations.
  • Antenatal Serology - A full antenatal serology service is available.
  • Routine Crossmatch - Ideally 24 hrs notice should be given for a non-urgent cross-match. This is to allow sufficient time to investigate any abnormality detected in the antibody screen or cross-match. If 24 hrs notice is not given, it may not be possible to have blood available at the requested time if an abnormality is detected in the course of the investigations. This may result in the last minute cancellation of an elective operation/procedure.
  • Emergency Crossmatch - The laboratory must be informed by telephone. In an emergency, crossmatched blood can normally be provided within one hour of receipt of the sample. Uncrossmatched Group O can be emergency issued to your patient within 5 minutes of requesting on our acute sites (DMH & UHND). In exceptional circumstances, un-crossmatched O Negative (Flying Squad) blood may be used. This can be taken directly from the Blood Bank fridges located at DMH, UHND & BAH. If the Flying Squad blood is used, the laboratory must be informed immediately so that the blood can be replaced and a retrospective cross-match performed. The trust operates a Major Haemorrhage Protocol which all clinical staff should be aware and familiar with. Please refer to POL/Transfusion/0003 Major Haemorrhage Policy for full details (access via Staffnet 'Policies and Procedures' section).
  • Issue of Blood Products - A stock of fresh frozen plasma and cryoprecipitate is kept at UHND and DMH blood banks and is available on request (thawing time 30 minutes). Platelet concentrates are not routinely stored on site and have to be transported from the Blood Transfusion Services in Newcastle on request.
  • De-reserving of Blood - All blood will be de-reserved and removed from the Blood Bank fridge 48 hours after the time it was required. If blood needs to be reserved for a longer period of time, this must specifically be requested.
  • Issue of Batch Products - A stock of albumin, prophylactic Anti-D, Beriplex and Novoseven is kept at UHND and DMH and is available on request. A small stock of prophylactic Anti-D is also kept at BAH. Please refer to appropriate transfusion clinical policy for further details, accessed via Staffnet 'Policies and Procedures' section.

'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally with full explanations and compassion from all staff involved'.

Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital