The National Patient Safety Agency has issued new guidance aimed at reducing delays in providing blood for patients in emergency situations.
Between October 2006 and September 2010, 11 patients died and 83 more suffered as a result of delays in the provision of blood.
The eight point guidance advises that acute care organisations should draw up a local protocol for dealing with massive blood loss and agree a trigger phrase understood by all staff to activate the protocol.
The NPSA wants organisations to be compliant with the guidance by 26 April.
All incidences of delay should be reported to NPSA and the serious hazards of transfusion (SHOT) scheme.
SHOT medical director Dr Clare Taylor said: “We have worked closely with the NPSA to develop this rapid response report, which urges organisations to review their systems and practices to ensure communication and teamwork during these emergency situations are effective and enable the rapid provision of blood components.”