The administration and use of blood and blood products to children present more risks because of the size, developmental age, communication skills and cognitive ability of children.65
Why does this standard need special consideration by health service organisations that provide care for children?
The administration and use of blood and blood products to children present more risks because of the size, developmental age, communication skills and cognitive ability of children.65 The Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion recommends that health service organisations using blood and blood products to care for children tailor policies, procedures and protocols to the specific needs of this group.
Criterion: Clinical governance and quality improvement to support blood management
Organisation-wide governance and quality improvement systems are used to ensure safe and high-quality care of patients’ own blood, and to ensure that blood product requirements are met.
Integrating clinical governance
Health service organisations should ensure that patient blood management policies and procedures are based on child-specific best-practice guidelines and current evidence, including:
- Using a restrictive transfusion strategy
- Reducing the need for red blood cell transfusion and exchange transfusion.66
Partnering with consumers
In addition to suggested approaches to gain informed consent outlined in the Partnering with Consumers Standard, health service organisations could consider:
- Ensuring that the length of time that the consent to administer blood and blood products remains valid is specified, especially for children who may be chronically ill
- Taking action if children or their family refuse the use of blood or blood products – for example, Jehovah’s witnesses
- Taking action in circumstances in which consent cannot be obtained.65
The health service organisation could also audit patient clinical records to identify levels of compliance with transfusion consent policies, procedures and protocols, and areas for improvement.