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Quality Control in Blood Banking

Frances K. Widmann, MD
JAMA. 1975;231(11):1189. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240230061032.
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The blood banker seeking a quality control program sometimes feels like Goldilocks at the bears' home: some suggested programs are Too Big, others are clearly Too Small. Myhre's handbook outlines procedures and suggests combinations that can be Just Right for each individual laboratory. Sensibly cautioning against spending more time on quality control than on getting things done, the author discusses which areas need continuous surveillance, which procedures are particularly prone to subtle errors, and which operations or equipment can safely be spot-checked. Ingenious suggestions are given for such problems as standardizing what "1+ " or "3+ " means to many different workers, determining the completeness of washing for antiglobulin tests, and evaluating the degree to which albumin or enzymes enhance agglutination. Although a brief chapter considers automated techniques, the manual is clearly people-oriented; sympathy for human frailty is combined with determination to protect patients, laboratory workers, and administrators from inevitable errors of


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