Capital Health no longer accepting blood samples from Atlantic Blood Collection

Friday, May 9, 2014 - 3:06pm

Capital Health no longer accepting blood samples from Atlantic Blood Collection

(Halifax) - Capital Health has decided not to extend or renew its agreement with Atlantic Blood Collection, an independent phlebotomy (blood collection) business. The company’s locations are listed below.

This move arises as a result of identified quality and patient safety concerns over several months and means samples taken from patients at Atlantic Blood Collection will no longer be accepted for testing after today. Samples collected today (May 9) or before will be processed.

“Our first priority is to ensure that blood samples are collected safely and to ensure the quality and integrity of every sample is protected at every step in the process,” says Dr. Godfrey Heathcote, district department head, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. “In every instance where quality and patient safety issues are identified, the independent phlebotomist is provided with specific instructions on how to address identified concerns and given an opportunity to implement required changes.”

Generally, there are a few types of errors that can occur in the process of collecting and handling blood samples. These include mislabeling of samples, an insufficient amount of blood being collected and samples not being transported to the lab for testing within the timeframe required to ensure the integrity of results.

While errors related to the mislabeling of samples and insufficient samples are easily identified and testing is cancelled immediately, issues related to delivery time are harder to detect and are identified through random audits.

Capital Health monitors samples closely for issues or concerns. If a concern is identified with a sample, the test is cancelled and the referring doctor is notified. The doctor then contacts the patient to let them know they will need to have another sample taken.

In October 2013, Capital Health hired a laboratory technical specialist specifically to focus on quality and implement monitoring and auditing of samples from independent blood collectors.

Here is a list of locations from which Capital Health will no longer accept samples for testing (all Atlantic Blood Collection locations in the district):

Albro Lake Medical Clinic
Cole Harbour Family Medicine
Tacoma Family Medicine
Woodlawn Medical Centre
Waverley Road Pharmacy

Bedford/Sackville/Fall River
Bedford Basin Women’s Health Clinic
Calian Medical Clinic, Sackville Superstore
Family Focus (Bedford)
Fall River Family Practice

Scotia Square Walk-in Clinic
Ravines Medical Clinic
Spryfield Family Medicine

In response to the growing need for accessible blood collection services  and to respond to anticipated new public concerns that may arise from this decision, Capital Health is:

Expanding existing services as a pilot project:

Effective Monday, May 12

St Margaret’s Bay Blood Collection will be open at the following times. There will be no fee for service as of this date.

  • Mon, Tue, Thurs, Fri - 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Mon, Tue, Thurs, Fri - 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Wed - 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Sat - 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Bayers Road Blood Collection will extend hours as soon as possible. Actual date to be determined but targeted for late May/early June. Extended hours will be:

  • Mon to Fri - 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Sat - 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Until Bayers Road extends hours, staffing will be increased during its current hours to help meet demand.

Opening new collection facilities in Dartmouth and Spryfield

Capital Health is exploring space options and dates are still to be announced. New collection facilities will have processing on site to ensure the integrity of the samples collected.

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