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An electronic barrier system to improve blood transfusion safety

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5 Author(s)
Baronti, F. ; Dipt. di Ing. dell''Inf., Telecomun. Univ. di Pisa, Pisa ; Lazzeri, A. ; Roncella, R. ; Rubertelliy, M.
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In blood transfusion procedures, it is necessary to guarantee that each patient actually receives the blood unit which has been assigned to him, so that mistransfusions are avoided. For this reason, before starting the administration, a cross-check involving the patient and the trasfusion unit codes must be carried out at bedside. To perform these tests in a safe and fast way, several electronic solutions based on barcode labels and RFID tags have been adopted in the last few years. However, most reliable results are still obtained by means of barrier systems, i.e. mechanical devices that prevent the use of units until the cross-check is positive. In this paper, we present a microcontroller-based barrier system which can easily be integrated with common barcode/RFID-based solutions, so that an even higher safety degree is achievable together with simple and fast utilization. The system provides blood unit temperature monitoring and event logging capabilities, can be controlled by means of a wireless connection, and is powered by a high capacity Li-ion battery, which ensures long operating cycles. Moreover, it features a simple human interface, and appears rather small and light, thus resulting definitely suitable for the clinical settings. Once implemented, the system has been successfully validated by means of a Lab VIEW interface emulating a typical medical facility set-up. Currently, two on-site applications show a remarkable safety and speed improvement in performing cross-check procedures.

Published in:

Electronics, Circuits and Systems, 2008. ICECS 2008. 15th IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

Aug. 31 2008-Sept. 3 2008