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Changing Blood Transfusion Policy and Practice

Stupnyckyj, Catherine RN; Smolarek, Sheryl BSN, RN, OCN; Reeves, Colleen BSN, RN, OCN; McKeith, Judith BSN, RN, CMSRN; Magnan, Morris PhD, RN

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: December 2014 - Volume 114 - Issue 12 - p 50–59
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000457412.68716.3b
Question of Practice
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OVERVIEW: It is often an accepted practice that a 20-gauge-or-larger catheter is used for the safe transfusion of blood in adult patients, but it is unclear what evidence supports this practice. This article tells the story of how a small team of oncology nurses designed and implemented an evidence-based practice project to challenge that convention. A literature search and a consultation with the standards of the American Association of Blood Banks and the Infusion Nurses Society determined that a smaller-than-20-gauge catheter can be used safely to transfuse blood in adults, a discovery that led to a change in policy and practice at the authors’ institution.

How a team of oncology nurses implemented an evidence-based practice project to challenge the practice of using a 20-gauge-or-larger catheter when transfusing blood in adults.

Catherine Stupnyckyj and Sheryl Smolarek are clinical nurse leaders at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, where Colleen Reeves is a clinical nurse, Judith McKeith is a clinical nurse manager, and Morris Magnan is a clinical nurse specialist. Contact author: Morris Magnan, magnanm@karmanos.org. The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

© 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved.