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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Editorial Board Member: Gillery, Philippe / Kazmierczak, Steven / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Schlattmann, Peter / Whitfield, John B.

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Blood gas and patient safety: considerations based on experience developed in accordance with the Risk Management perspective

Marco Rambaldi1 / MariaTeresa Baranzoni2 / Pasquale Coppolecchia3 / Jennifer N. Moschello4 / Francesca Novaco5

1U.O. Anestesia e Rianimazione, Azienda Sanitaria di Modena, Modena, Italy

2U.O. Anestesia e Rianimazione, Azienda Sanitaria di Modena, Modena, Italy

3Laboratorio Analisi, Azienda Sanitaria di Modena, Modena, Italy

4Servizio Ingegneria Clinica, Azienda Sanitaria di Modena, Modena, Italy

5Sistema Qualità Aziendale, Azienda Sanitaria di Modena, Modena, Italy

Corresponding author: Dr. Marco Rambaldi, Ospedale Nuovo S. Agostino Estense, Responsabile U.O. Anestesia e Rianimazione, Via Giardini 1355, 41100 Modena, Italy Phone: +39-059-3961111, Fax: +39-059-437269,

Citation Information: Clinical Chemical Laboratory Medicine. Volume 45, Issue 6, Pages 774–780, ISSN (Online) 14374331, ISSN (Print) 14346621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2007.163, June 2007

Publication History

Published Online:


It is the responsibility of health organizations to guarantee a high level of healthcare by using adequate methodologies and instruments, creating secure conditions for treatment, and preventing adverse events due to human or system errors. It is necessary to introduce Risk Management programs, and in particular to promote Clinical Risk Management, one of the constituent elements of Clinical Governance, to assure the delivery of high-quality performance and services. In the point-of-care testing (POCT) context, using an analysis of our experiences, we discuss the entire analytical process, including acquisition and usage, while focusing on blood gas analyzers. Our experience confirms that within a Clinical Governance framework, it is necessary to apply, even when choosing instruments, a systematic vision that is not limited to analytical validation, but also includes an in-depth analysis of the impact in a specific context. Assessment of the correlated risks, independent of the analytical methodology used, is indispensable in a clinical environment to identify the most suitable approach for such risks. A study of the latent factors can be proactively performed to identify (and stimulate) what the pre-organizational environment (producer companies) can offer in terms of product orientation to effectively reduce correlated risk during use. Among the different options for possible treatment of risk, one involves the transfer of the assumption of risk to third parties (e.g., maintenance and quality controls). Transferring the responsibility for control operations to the operator of the instrument, which follows the quality controls with total autonomy, is equivalent to transferring the correlated risk for the clinician (in the POCT case) to the producer, who becomes the guarantor. In practice this is equivalent to a specific assurance stipulation with zero cost.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2007;45:774–80.

Keywords: blood gas; clinical risk management; patient safety; point-of-care testing

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