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Campaign calls on greater identification for blood transfusions

Thursday, 13 December 2012
North Wales NHS staff are calling on the public to ‘make themselves known’ as part of a new campaign to improve a vital service for patients.
Betsi Cadwaldwr University Health Board North Wales Hospital Transfusion team is putting the patient at the heart of the decisions made about blood transfusion.
They are  supporting the Welsh Government ‘Do you know who I am’ campaign to help ensure patients receive the best treatment when the need for a blood transfusion is made by their medical team.
The campaign encourages outpatients to state their full name, first line of address and date of birth before blood tests are taken.
All in-patients will have a correct identification band on their wrist and also be asked to state their full name, first line of address and date of birth by staff that are caring for them.
Patients are also encouraged to ask health professionals if they are aware of who they are as patient identification check continues to be a critical point in the transfusion process where there is the potential for error.
And it’s not just NHS staff getting behind the campaign, school children across Flintshire and Wrexham have been busy drawing up themed posters to help push the message forward, thanks to a visit from an important healthcare figure of days gone by.
Transfusion Practitioner, Jenny Rodger transformed herself into nurse Betsi Cadwaldwr to take the importance of identification for health into the heart of the classroom, and to explain to children how this pioneer for nursing changed attitudes and practice which is still reflected in best practice to-day.
She said: “We wanted the pupils to help us highlight how important correct identification is for supporting positive outcomes from blood transfusion. To get the message across we felt what better way to show the campaign message of ‘do you know who I am’ than walking through the door as the nurse who inspired the naming of the health board in North Wales.
“As well as the children’s support, the Health Minister Lesley Griffiths came to lend her personal support for the campaign, alongside Councillor Ian Roberts, Mayor of Wrexham and his lady Mayoress, Mrs Hilary Roberts, this week.
They met local patients to hear how a safe transfusion makes such a difference to quality of life, and also donors from North Wales who are so important to these patients and their care.  
Mrs Rodger added: “Through everyone’s help we hope we can raise awareness of the importance of positive patient identification in the blood transfusion process. “
Poster winner Chloe Gallagher