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OBJECTIVES: To present Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR) guidance for Hospital Transfusion Teams on behalf of the National Blood Transfusion Committee emergency planning working group. BACKGROUND: The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 requires healthcare organisations to demonstrate that they can deal with major incidents while maintaining critical services. Recent mass casualty events and the use of transfusion-based resuscitation have highlighted the evolving role of the Hospital Transfusion Team. METHODS: This multi-disciplinary advice is informed by recent global and national experience, the 2018 NHS England clinical guidelines for Major Incidents, and stakeholder workshops. GUIDANCE: Transfusion staff should be familiar with local EPRR plans including casualty type and numbers. Staff should be exercised as part of wider Trust preparation, with documented roles and responsibilities. Transfusion support should be proactive and include blood issue, regulatory compliance and sample handling. Robust LIMS-compatible emergency identification systems are essential to minimise errors. Emergency stock management requires rapid assessment of existing stock and estimated demand before re-ordering. Initial demand should be based on 2 to 4 red blood cells (RBC) per patient admitted. Patients with significant haemorrhage may require further red cells and early haemostatic support. Where "universal" components are demanded, they should be gender appropriate. Senior staff should lead the response, log and communicate key decisions, and prepare for post-incident recovery. CONCLUSIONS: Transfusion teams have an important role in ensuring continuity of transfusion support. Teams should develop their EPRR plans based on local plans and national guidance. Emergency preparedness should include post-incident debriefing for ongoing staff support and future service improvement.

Original publication




Journal article


Transfus Med

Publication Date





177 - 185


emergency planning, major incidents, transfusion, Blood Safety, Blood Transfusion, Civil Defense, Hospitals, Humans, Mass Casualty Incidents, United Kingdom