4129-16 Problem-Based Learning in Transfusion Medicine
Credits awarded per Session. See individual Sessions for further details.
Credits awarded
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About this item


Description: Take your initial education and training in medical laboratory technology to new heights with this dynamic course designed to help you become an independent problem-solver in the blood bank. Your current experience in areas such as blood group serology, blood component composition and preparation, the basics of adverse reactions to transfusion and clinical presentation of diseases associated with blood group incompatibility is used to assess, explore and evaluate cases and problems encountered in hospital Transfusion Medicine departments. Other topics include Introduction to Transfusion Medicine, antigen antibody reactions, complement and the antiglobulin test, methods of antibody detection, blood group systems, reagents, standards and maintenance and “hot spots” in blood component therapy. The final module is self-study in nature in that you select a theoretical topic or a practical problem for a self-directed learning project.


Prerequisites: A working knowledge of Transfusion Medicine.

Textbook: All resources are supplied with the exception of:

  • CSTM standards version 4.0 April 2017. Hospital transfusion labs are likely to already have this standard.
  • CSA Z902-2015 Standards for Blood and Blood Components, 2015


Start date: Upon registration

Completion: Up to 52 weeks

Course/Activity Information

Learning Outcomes:

  • Discover and use means of searching the literature using the Internet, and discover and use other resources where applicable
  • Evaluate a laboratory-based scenario and identify means to solve a problem
  • Define self-directed learning and describe a personal example
  • Prepare a short list of references using a literature search method, using "Vancouver Style" to document your results
  • Review a definition of transfusion medicine
  • Assess a laboratory problem involving antigen-antibody reactions, using reasoning based on clinical experience and/or theoretical knowledge
  • Include relevant Canadian standards for assignments where applicable
  • Evaluate technical aspects of a serological problem involving cold agglutinins
  • Appraise methods for detection of cold agglutinins and the Donath-Landsteiner antibody, relating the complement system to both
  • Consider resources pertaining to ABO discrepancy problems
  • Outline causes for the discrepancy and tests required for resolution
  • Determine the possibility of paternity in a simple case of paternity testing
  • Demonstrate the ability to select units for testing and transfusion of a patient with multiple atypical antibodies
  • Interpret information on basic biochemistry of blood group antigens and explain how this relates to results of antibody screening, investigation
  • Understand some of the quality functions and responsibilities for equipment in an accredited transfusion laboratory
  • Describe the requirements for introduction of a new refrigerator for storage of blood components and reagents
  • Explain the requirements for an accredited transfusion service relating to education and training of staff involved in the transfusion process
  • Describe a plan to address the education and training needs of hospital staff involved in the transfusion process
  • Describe the physiological consequences of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)
  • Recognize the constituents of blood product(s) required to treat DIC
  • Identify and discuss adverse effects of transfusion as they relate to non-hemolytic transfusion reactions
  • Discuss the various platelet components and special requirements for leukemia and BMT patients required to provide appropriate platelet transfusion
  • Explain why irradiation of blood components is required and what components require it. Discuss the clinical consequences of graft-versus-host disease
  • Explain the mechanism by which Intravenous Immune Globulin (IVIG) helps with neurological conditions such as CIDP
  • Identify the practical concerns with infusing IVIG, including administration of the product and adverse effects
  • Conduct a self-study module in an area of personal interest within Transfusion Medicine and relate this to a problem-based learning situation


Author/Instructor: Kate Gagliardi, ART

Version Date: February 2016


PEP hours: 45

CPS credits: 3.0

*Note: PEP hours and/or CPS credits will only be awarded upon successful completion of course requirements.

See attached Course Guide for more information.


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