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Use of fresh-frozen plasma at Royal Darwin Hospital: a retrospective audit

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Abstract Background: 

The aim of the study was to assess the appropriateness of use of fresh-frozen plasma (FFP) at Royal Darwin Hospital against the National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian and New Zealand Society for Blood Transfusion guidelines. Methods: 

A retrospective review of blood product request forms, online pathology storage system data, pathology records and clinical notes between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2006 was carried out. The appropriateness of requests was assessed against existing guidelines. The percentage of appropriate and inappropriate FFP transfusions was obtained. Results: 

Six hundred and forty-eight of 950 units (68%) of FFP were used with an appropriate indication as per National Health and Medical Research Council/Australian and New Zealand Society for Blood Transfusion guidelines. Of the remaining units, 14% (137 units) was given without a clear indication and a decision of appropriateness could not be established for 17% (165 units) because of inadequate clinical or pathology information (e.g. coagulation results). Multiple issues around prescribing practice were identified. Conclusion: 

There is significant use of FFP at Royal Darwin Hospital without clear clinical indication. The employment of a transfusion nurse to monitor use of FFP (and other blood products) and provide education is aimed at improving transfusion efficiency and patient safety.
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Keywords: audit; fresh-frozen plasma; indication

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Haematology, Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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