Oamaru area blood bank

After careful consideration and review, both the New Zealand Blood Service and Awanui Laboratories have collaborated to ensure patient safety whilst minimising blood component and product wastage in the region.  As a result, effective from Monday 29April 2024, Oamaru Hospital Laboratory will transition to an emergency O-negative bank only.  All non-urgent and planned transfusion testing work will move to New Zealand Blood Service Dunedin with the crossmatched blood and required products being issued from Dunedin Blood Bank prior to being sent to Oamaru Hospital Laboratory.  Sample collection / transportation will still be undertaken by Awanui laboratories as is currently performed. 

Here are the key points of the transition:

  1. Emergency O Negative O Bank: Oamaru laboratory will now exclusively operate an emergency O negative blood bank.  This measure is implemented to ensure that urgent blood components and products are readily available 24/7 to meet critical patient needs.
  2. Cross Matching and Product Issuing: All cross matching and product issuing for the Oamaru area will be centrally handled by the Dunedin New Zealand Blood Service Laboratory with the Dunedin site performing all pre transfusion work, component and product labelling, prior to the blood and components being sent to the Oamaru Hospital Laboratory for collection by the clinical teams.  This centralisation will streamline processes and enhance efficiency and patient safety in delivering blood products promptly.
  3. Pre-Transfusion Work for Non-Urgent Cases: For non-urgent and planned transfusions/infusions, there will be a pre-transfusion work period of 24-72 hours.  This time frame allows for sample transportation, necessary testing, and the return of the blood and components to Oamaru. 

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes, please do not hesitate to contact Awanui Laboratories.  We are committed to addressing any enquiries and ensuring a seamless transition. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work towards enhancing the quality and safety of blood banking services in the Oamaru area. Thank you for your attention to this matter. 

Ngā mihi nui,
Rebecca Brosnan
Regional Laboratory Operations Manager – Te Waipounamu
Awanui Laboratories