Patients in developed countries have easy access to health information and increasingly communicate with health providers about their treatment.

  1. How can patients help increase their own transfusion safety?
  2. Provide example of how healthcare workers can facilitate this.

a. Patients can increase their own transfusion safety by taking an active role, for example, they should:

  • Communicate special transfusion needs to healthcare staff
  • When available, show evidence of these needs (e.g., letters and wallet cards)
  • Question staff immediately prior to transfusion to ensure that special requirements have been met

b. Healthcare workers can facilitate an active patient role by:

  • Fostering a climate in which patients are encouraged to communicate with healthcare providers, and question them
  • Providing information (letters, wallet cards, pamphlets) to patients that documents their need for special products
  • Asking patients to show the letter and wallet card to health providers