Peace of mind in stressful times
Surgery or a trip to the hospital is bad enough. You don't want to have the extra worry that a nurse might unthinkingly administer you the wrong type of blood or plasma.
Few statistics are available, but most experts agree that hospital workers around the world continue to mismatch blood and patients, with potentially devastating consequences.
In most countries, barcodes are used to identify blood bags and track information such as blood type or donor name. Now, with the advent of RFID technology, hospitals are beginning to track blood products in a much more efficient and effective manner, with the result that patients now have far greater peace of mind during their stay in hospital.
Matching patients and blood products
Here’s an example. A hospital in Milan uses RFID to confirm that the right blood products are given to the intended patient. The bags carry an RFID tag that is combined with a lock. Before administering a transfusion, the nurse uses a reader to identify the blood bag and the RFID tag worn by the patient on his or her wristband. If they do not match, the lock on the blood bag will not open.
The RFID device also contains a temperature sensor that monitors and records the temperature outside the blood bag. This allows doctors and nurses to confirm that the blood has been stored properly.
As you can see, RFID is already saving lives and reducing clinical errors. This situation will improve further as more and more hospitals and clinics adopt the new technology.
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