Labeling tubes before collection threatens patient safety

Dennis J. Ernst, George A. Fritsma, David L. McGlasson


Blood specimen identification errors continue to threaten patient safety. One study reviewed 4.29 million specimens collected over 24 months and found the frequency of mislabeled specimens, unlabeled specimens, and specimen-requisition mismatches to be 1.0%, 4.6%, and 6.3%, respectively, with mislabeling presenting the greatest danger (1).