Supply Disruption of BD Vacutainer Blood Specimen Collection Tubes

Information about Becton Dickinson Blood Specimen Collection Portfolio supply disruption

In reference to the global shortages of blood tube products, the College has set up this dedicated web page to pull together the available guidance in one place. As we receive any further information, this page will be updated.

Guidance on recommended actions has been published for medical directors, nursing directors, GPs and pathology laboratories to optimise resources for pathology laboratory work. Please note that the guidance varies for the devolved nations so please ensure that you check and follow the recommendations relevant for your area.

The recommendations have been produced with input from clinical experts from pathology teams, primary care and acute care, including the College, the Institute of Biomedical Science, the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine as a guide to local optimisation of resources.

Update on the supply disruption related to Becton Dickinson blood collection tubes

The latest update from NHS England and NHS Improvement, 11 October 2021, is below:

A letter has been sent to the NHS with the latest information on the issue. Best practice guidance for primary and secondary care has also been issued encouraging clinicians to think twice, check twice and order once.

Due to the mitigations in place and the efforts of colleagues across the NHS, the supply situation has stabilised. However, supplies are not yet back at normal levels.

The latest letter advises that testing activity in acute trusts, community hospitals and mental health trusts, can resume in line with the best practice guidance, local stocks permitting.

The situation reporting established for acute trusts, community hospitals and mental health trusts will now move to a weekly collection, taking place on Tuesdays.

NHSE guidance on blood tube supply disruption
National minimum retesting intervals in pathology

The UK transfusion guidance for safe transfusions during blood sample tube shortages has been finalised and is available via the Serious Hazards of Transfusion (SHOT) website:

This document has been developed collaboratively by the National Blood Transfusion Committee Emergency Planning Working Group, SHOT and RCPath Transfusion SAC, with input from the British Society for Haematology Transfusion Task Force. This guidance document should be used in line with local arrangements for risk assessment and concessionary release. While the ongoing shortage is expected to be resolved soon, this guidance document is meant to be a blueprint for Trusts/Health Boards to use to manage from a transfusion point of view. The severity of shortages is variable across the UK and measures implemented are likely to vary, these will need to be used in conjunction with current national guidelines, be risk assessed and be implemented collaboratively with frontline clinical and laboratory teams. The provision of safe and timely blood components remains a priority.

As we receive any further information, this page will be updated