25.4 Blood group labels
25.4.1 General specification
These labels are required for the purpose of blood group identification on the blood collection and satellite packs. The blood group can fall into one of eight classifications as shown below. Alternative labels, for use in special circumstances, are also described.
The blood group label is part of a complete overstick label and must be attached to the blood collection pack and/or satellite pack in the appropriate place immediately adjacent to the donation number. This is to allow a continuous straight line read of the combined labels.
An illustration of this labelling alignment is shown in Figure 25.2.
Figure 25.2 Example of label alignment
All labels must be produced in black and white. All characters must be solid black on white except for Rh D negatives where the ABO character must be in outline, and the 'Rh D NEGATIVE' must be in solid white on a black background.
Group labels must be demand printed at the point of labelling. The label must be generated in response to the electronic entry of a donation number, and once affixed to the blood pack, must be verified by the concatenated electronic entry of the codes from the donation number label and the group label. Group labels must only be generated for units which have been fully tested and are suitable for transfusion.
The label design is illustrated in Figure 25.3. The content is described from the top down.
Group label verification number
This must be printed at the top left-hand side of the label in barcode format only. It must be an ISBT 128 number, complying with one of the national definitions (&a or &b; see Section 25.2.3) described above. The distance of the barcode from the left-hand edge of the label must not be less than 2.5 mm or more than 4 mm. The barcode must be between 7 mm and 10 mm high.
The day and month of expiry may be included in the top right hand corner of the label. Where present this must be in a DD/MM format.
The blood group barcode must be positioned below the group label verification number barcode separated by a gap of between 1 mm and 5 mm. The left-hand edges of the codes must be aligned. The blood group barcode must be between 14 mm and 18 mm high.
Figure 25.3 Sample blood group label
The format of the ISBT 128 group code is:
=% are the data identifiers
gg designates the ABO and Rh D blood group and may also specify donation use limitations (see Tables 25.2a to 25.2c)
r not used in UK – set to 0
e not used in UK – set to 0
The values of gg for standard donations (without donation use limitations) are indicated in Table 25.2a.
Table 25.2a Blood group classifications
|O Rh D positive||51||O Rh D negative||95|
|A Rh D positive||62||A Rh D negative||06|
|B Rh D positive||73||B Rh D negative||17|
|AB Rh D positive||84||AB Rh D negative||28|
For donations using these group codes, the eye-readable blood group must be presented in two parts. The ABO group must be printed immediately below the group barcode. The characters must be solid black for Rh D positives, and outline for Rh D negatives.
The Rh D status must be indicated immediately below the group barcode and eye-readable ABO. The text must be 'Rh D POSITIVE' in solid black characters, or 'Rh D NEGATIVE' in solid white characters enclosed in a black rectangular background.
The values of gg used where donation use limitations apply is indicated in Table 25.2b.
The expiry date must be presented in eye-readable and barcode formats. The eye-readable text must be printed with characters of no less than 3 mm height. The content must comprise the day number, the month represented by its first three characters, and the four-digit year (e.g. 1 FEB 2001).
Currently the expiry date is coded using a Codabar barcode. The barcode must have a start code of 'a2' and a stop code of '4a'. The data content must be the last three digits of the year, and a three-digit Julian day number, thus 1 Feb 2001 would be represented by '001032'.
See also Section 25.7 for future changes to this barcode.
Additional information (standard donations)
Additional information may appear immediately below the expiry date in an area no less than 10 mm and no more than 25 mm high. The data content of this section is at the discretion of the labelling authority, but is available for providing additional information on phenotypes, CMV status, etc. Some UK Blood Services use a Codabar barcode of a8738a to indicate CMV-negative.
Collection facility identification
The identification of the collecting facility may be indicated in eye-readable format below the additional information section of the group label. Alternatively, this information may be printed as part of the donation identification number (see Section 25.3). The text content will be identified by the relevant national service and may comprise one or two lines of text.