Increasingly complex medical care requires specialized transfusion support close at hand. Hospital growth can necessitate expansion of blood bank services to new locations to ensure rapid delivery of blood products. We describe the opening of a new satellite transfusion service designed to serve the needs of a pediatric hospital.
Institutional transition teams and stakeholders collaborated to discuss options for providing blood at a new pediatric hospital. A staffed satellite transfusion service met the diverse needs of multiple services and was considered a compromise between a full new transfusion service and automated solutions.
Initial challenges in establishing the laboratory included regulatory uncertainty and interactions between two hospitals’ information technology services. Laboratory scientist staffing and actual use required adapting the satellite service to an emergency release-only model.
A flexibly staffed satellite transfusion service met the most urgent needs of a pediatric hospital expansion. Review of implementation revealed potential process improvements for future expansions, including comprehensive routine and massive transfusion simulations. The challenges experienced in supplying staff and specialized blood products track with national trends. Other institutions may consider establishing a satellite transfusion service in the context of both increasingly sophisticated automated solutions and complex blood needs.

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