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Yokota blood program invites AF inspection team

Yokota blood program invites AF inspection team

Lt. Col. Jessica Hughes, Air Force Blood Program officer, teaches Airman 1st Class Julian Manon, 374th Medical Support Squadron medical laboratory apprentice, how to read the full label on a unit of blood at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 24, 2020, in preparation for an upcoming inspection. The Transfusion Services department of the 374th Medical Group must adhere to all Food and Drug Administration quality standards. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Staff Sgt. Taylor A. Workman)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, JAPAN --

The Transfusion Services department of the 374th Medical Group invited an Air Force-level inspection team to evaluate the blood bank program Jan. 24.

The Food and Drug Administration and College of American Pathologists routinely inspect the program for full compliance and quality assurance, but this year, Capt. Jenifer Mouser, 374th Medical Support Squadron Clinical Laboratory flight commander, sought out an additional review from the Air Force inspection team.

Because the blood housed in the Yokota laboratory is life-saving, it is crucial that we are held to the highest possible standards, said Mouser. Transfusion Services Airmen are working closely with the inspectors to ensure compliance, streamline processes and drill for the next inspection from the CAP in mid-February.

“We conducted a total of 38 blood transfusions last year alone,” said Mouser. “They are most often used for mothers who lose a significant amount of blood during childbirth, or for cancer patients to ensure they are strong enough to be transferred for specialized care.”

Already, the lab has initiated a new software program that streamlined the collection of storage temperature readings, updated operating instructions for technicians and improved the efficiency of their record collection.

Mouser says her team will continue to meet the FDA and CAP requirements and deliver safe blood products to Yokota patients.