Blood supply tracking
RFID used to track shipments
Thousands of bags of blood supply are thrown out everyday because of poor tracking systems but, RFID is on its way to solving that problem and making blood supply tracking not only more efficient but also more effective. From the time blood is donated at a donation site, it passes through various locations and numerous individuals before it arrives at its destined hospital, to a patient that is in dire need of a compatible type.
First, the blood is tested and then different components of the blood, like platelets and plasma, are extracted and repacked. Then the different components are shipped to hospitals or regional blood centers where they are then sent to emergency rooms, operating rooms and intensive care units.
RFID can not only provide a more organized delivery system but it can also get the blood to the needed location faster, insuring that the chance of a patient’s life being saved is increased. RFID can identify, track, and monitor the condition of blood products before they arrive at their final destination. The radiation emitted by RFID readers will not harm blood as it is used at a much lower frequency than the radiation emitted by x-rays or microwaves.
As more than 25 million transfusions are performed in the United States each year, proper transportation of blood supply is essential. And when there are reports of more than 32,000 transfusion-related adverse reactions, based on a 2005 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Study of 1,322 national medical treatment centers, action must be taken to decrease these numbers. RFID can increase the quality of the blood supply at the time of delivery, avoid having to reship supply and discard supplies that have expired because of improper shipping from the beginning.