NATIONAL EXTERNAL QUALITY ASSESSMENT SCHEME IN BLOOD GROUP SEROLOGY IN THAILAND, 2002-2003 EXPERIENCE

Soisangwan R
Bureau of Laboratory Quality Standards, Department of Medical Sciences
Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi 11000 Thailand

  This study was a review and analysis of the evaluation results of the National External Quality Assessment Scheme in Blood Group Serology (NEQAS in BGS) for various blood bank laboratories in Thailand. Packed red blood cells and serum samples were sent to 622 and 653 participating blood bank laboratories of both government and private hospitals during the fiscal year 2002 and 2003, respectively. The test items were used for ABO and Rh blood groupings and unexpected antibody screening and identification. The test results were analyzed and evaluated for the standard scores which ranged from 4.0 (excellent), 4.0 - 3.5 (very good), 3.5 - 3.0 (good), 3.0 - 2.5 (satisfactory) and 2.5 (unacceptable). It was found that 51% (285/563) of participating laboratories continuously reported back the test results. Approximately 90% of these participating laboratories had acceptable results in individual tests. Among these, 16% (45/285), 36% (103/285), 27% (44/163) and 73% (35/48) of the laboratories had excellent results in ABO blood grouping, Rh blood grouping, unexpected antibody screening and unexpected antibody identification, respectively. However, a few of the laboratories had unacceptable results for ABO and Rh blood grouping. The main errors involved non-standard testing procedures, wrong interpretations of the test results and discrepancy results between cell and serum groupings. These data are useful for future planning and quality improvement of the blood bank laboratories. NEQAS in BGS is a main support for laboratory accreditation and conforms to the health policy of the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand.