A key component in safety is the vein-to-vein concept. The vein-to-vein approach is intended to cover all aspects of blood transfusion from the time the donor enters a clinic, to the transfusion of blood on the hospital clinical unit, and finally to management of complications of transfusion.

Agencies responsible for blood and blood safety contribute to this process by ensuring that there are policies and procedures created and that their staff are trained on these procedures.

The vein-to-vein process is necessary in Adverse Event investigations and lookback/traceback programs. Lookback —a procedure in which previous donations (and related blood components) from a donor who is subsequently found to have a transfusion-transmissible infection are identified, and follow-up activities are undertaken to notify any involved organizations and affected individuals

The ability to track a unit from through the entire process and at any point provides an opportunity to improve safety to our patients.


Clinical Guide to Transfusion: Chapter 1. Vein to Vein: A Summary of Blood Collection and Transfusion in Canada