Haemovigilance is the set of surveillance procedures covering the entire blood transfusion chain, from the donation and processing of blood and its components, through to their provision and transfusion to patients, and including their follow-up.
It includes the monitoring, reporting, investigation and analysis of adverse events related to the donation, processing and transfusion of blood, and taking action to prevent their occurrence or recurrence. The reporting systems play a fundamental role in enhancing patient safety by learning from failures and then putting in place system changes to prevent them in future.
The haemovigilance system should involve all relevant stakeholders and should be coordinated between the blood transfusion service, hospital clinical staff and transfusion laboratories, hospital transfusion committees, the national regulatory agency and national health authorities.
The resulting modifications to transfusion policies, standards and guidelines, as well as improvements to processes in blood services and transfusion practices in hospitals, lead to improved patient safety.