THERE is now a standardised protocol between local health services which outlines the procedure for blood products in urgent situations to facilitate major blood transfusions.

Previously, each health service – Yarram and District Health Service, Gippsland Southern Health Service, South Gippsland Hospital and Bass Coast Health – had its own protocol, and some services did not have ready access to blood.

But when Monash Health Pathology became the health services’ provider last year, the opportunity was seized to align responses and develop a single protocol.

“The new protocol is standardised to provide the rapid provision of emergency blood and blood products to all areas of the sub-region in a safe, reliable and timely manner,” said Monash Health Pathology senior scientist Stephen Griffiths.

The Massive Transfusion Protocol is a structured approach for transfusing patients with critical bleeding and requiring a massive transfusion.

“The aim is to facilitate effective, early and ongoing communication between the treating team, clinical haematology team and Blood Bank scientist to ensure that the required blood products are provided in a timely manner to optimise the patient’s outcome,” Mr Griffiths said.

Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child said the protocol was a great example of the advantages of health services uniting to benefit the community.

“We have a commitment to ensuring every patient will have urgent access to blood and blood products anywhere, anytime within the sub-region,” she said.

Monash Health Pathology provides an on-call service to local hospitals, 24/7.

“By health services working together, we are able to optimise a uniform response to medical emergencies and ensure all staff have received the same level of training,” Ms Child said.

“This protocol ensures hospital and laboratory staff are clear about the procedures they need to follow when working with colleagues across multiple sites, ensuring patients continue to receive the best outcome.”

Each health service has a supply of Emergency O Rh(D) Negative blood on site that can be used. If additional blood is required, it can be supplied from the Wonthaggi Laboratory at Wonthaggi Hospital. The new protocol goes live from Wednesday, July 1.

The local health services have been working together as part of the South Gippsland Coast Rural Health Partnership to enhance the collaborative response to patients during an emergency.