From January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2014, healthcare facilities reported 19,687 events involving a blood transfusion to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. Of these reports, 19,492 (99%) were categorized as Incidents that did not result in patient harm. A majority of the events (16,513) were reported under the category of transfusions. The American Red Cross reports that more than 30 million transfusions of blood components are performed each year in the United States.
Of the 10 events associated with severe harm or death, only 1 event was attributed to the patient receiving the wrong blood (see Figure 1). Transfusion events occurred most frequently in patients age 70 to 79 years (18.96%, n = 3,732) followed by age 60 to 69 (18.57%, n = 3,655) and age 80 to 89 (17.55%, n = 3,456; see Figure 2). The most frequently reported event type was transfusion event (83.88%, n = 16,513) followed by an error related to procedure/treatment/test (6.66%, n = 1,312) and complication related to a procedure/treatment/test (4.36%, n = 858; see Figure 3).Figure 1. Transfusion-Related Reports by Harm Score, 2010-2014, as Reported to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (N = 19,687)
Figure 2. Transfusion-Related Reports by Age, 2010-2014, as Reported to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (N = 19,687)
Figure 3. Transfusion-Related Reports by Event Type, 2010-2014, as Reported to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (N = 19,687)