The BBC News site features a recent article. Maternity staff have been urged to take extra care over labelling blood samples after warnings that mix-ups could put mothers and babies at risk, claims Jan Green in an editorial in the British Journal of Midwifery (12:8 2004). The recent publication of the Serious Hazards of Transfusion (SHOT, 2003) report highlighted that 75% of reported incidents were related to an incorrect blood component being transfused. This reflects a 25% increase in the number of reports from the previous 12 months. Approximately 30% of these incidents were due to mislabelling of samples.
The Royal College of Midwives comment is included: "We fully endorse the use of NHS number for babies to reduce the risk of confusion between blood samples taken from the mother and the baby. Mothers and babies should be reassured that their safety and well- being is of paramount importance."