Blood bank protocols for large-scale civilian casualty events: Experience from terrorist bombing in Israel

E. J. Dann*, L. Bonstein, L. Arbov, A. Kornberg, N. Rahimi-Levene

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Terrorist attacks in crowded places cause multiple casualties that are evacuated by quick succession to nearby hospitals. The study goals were to analyse the issues of patient misidentification and excessive blood request and to develop recommendations for the management of such episodes. A retrospective analysis of nine explosion attacks was performed. In nine consecutive events, 450 casualties were reported by the National Ambulance Service, 82 of whom (18%) died on the explosion site and 368 were admitted to nearby trauma centres. Red blood cell units were typed and cross-matched for 70 patients. Seventy-three per cent of the blood supplied over the first 24 h was administered during the first 2 h. The cross-matched/transfused ratio was 2.52 ± 1.42, reflecting the overestimation of blood requirement in mass casualty episodes. In the mass casualty setup, blood bank personnel should be alert to a potential mistransfusion or a blood collection error. Unidentified patients are subjected to errors due to only one-digit difference in their temporary identification number. Application of the system using an additional sequential four-digit number printed in bold and large size font for patients at admission reduced the possibility of misidentification. Modern technologies, including error-reduction design wristbands, barcode-based system or radiofrequency identification tags may also increase reliability of patient identification in the mass casualty setup.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-139
Number of pages5
JournalTransfusion Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Blood bank responsibilities
  • Mass casualties
  • Terrorist attacks


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