Usha Varghese 

Staff Nurse

The haemovigilance nurse role was implemented into St.Mary’s in 2008 and is affiliated to the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital(MMUH).


Haemovigilance is a set of Surveillance procedures covering Whole transfusion chain (from donation of blood and its components to follow up recipient transfusion) intended to collect and assess information on unexpected or desirable effects resulting from therapeutic use of liable blood product, and to prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of such incidents.”(Faber,2002).


The legal requirements involved in blood transfusion are:


  • Traceability

  • Serious Adverse Reaction.

  • Serious Adverse Event.

  • Near miss.


Transfusion is performed with different blood products on the need and condition of the patients. Red blood Cells are used for transfusion in St.Mary’s.  Blood Transfusion aims at transfusing right blood; to right patient and at right time frame.


All blood transfusion activity within St.Mary’s must occur in compliance with relevant policies and guidelines set down by National Haemovigilance Office (NHO) and MMUH. Indications for Red blood cell trafnsfusions are:


  • Hemoglobin less than < 8gm %

  • Loss of blood due to bleeding.

  • Evidence of impaired O2 transport

  • Patients with Chronic transfusion regime.

  • During bone marrow suppressive therapy


The responsibilities of the Haemovigilance nurse include: 


  • Patient assessment, Pre and Post transfusion.

  • Audit and Quality monitoring.

  • Educating Medical and Nursing staff.

  • Reporting Serious Adverse reaction and Events to NHO.

  • Meeting Blood Transfusion committee team in MMUH periodically and submission of reports.

  • Feedback of the reports and changes from BTM and NHO are given to staff.

  • Attending Irish National Accreditation Board inspection and NHO Annual Conference.