Background and Aim:
Quality assurance in blood banking includes active participation in the external quality program. Such a program offers valuable benefits to patient care, their safety, and an overall quality of laboratory practices. In the year 2002, we participated in the External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) under the World Health Organization (WHO), Bureau of Laboratory Quality Standards, Thailand.
Materials and Methods:
In the current study we evaluated our EQAS test result of the past five years, from 2003 to 2007. Test results of all blood samples such as ABO grouping, D typing, antibody screening, antibody identification, and transfusion transmitted infection (TTI) testing were analyzed and documented.
Discordant results in one or more instances were observed with antibody identification, weak D testing, and tests for anti-HIV1/2 and HBsAg. Twice we failed to detect the ‘anti-Mia’ antibody in the issued sample and that could be attributed to the absence of the corresponding antigen in the used cell panel. HBsAg was missed due to its critically low titer in the serum and the comparatively low sensitivity of our Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test kit.
All these failures in the last five years have helped us to significantly improve our transfusion service in terms of performance evaluation, patient care and safety issues, and the overall quality of laboratory practices. We therefore recommend all laboratories and hospitals to participate in the EQAS program, which will definitely help them to improve from what they learn.