Informed Consent - Frequently Asked Questions: For Clinicians
- Blood Transfusions - what forms do I need to fill out?
Queensland Health's consent forms have a statement included within the patient's procedure specific consent should a blood transfusion be required. This statement on page 2 of the consent form covers consent for blood transfusions for that specific procedure. A Blood and Blood Products Transfusion Patient Information Sheet should to be given to the patient prior to their discussion with the doctor. This will reinforce to them the risks of a blood transfusion that the doctor would have already discussed with the patient.
A consent form is required for each Blood and Blood Products treatment but it is recognised that some conditions such as those requiring chemotherapy, haemophilia or patients with blood dyscrasias may require multiple transfusions of blood and blood products. To meet the above need a section within the procedure specific form, Blood and Blood Products Transfusion Consent was developed. This consent document is unique in that it includes the possibility of consenting to multiple blood and blood product treatments for a medical condition for a definable period of time. Start, frequency and approximate end dates of the transfusions must be documented on the consent form. Where a course of transfusion treatment needs to change due to a patient's change in condition or a change in the treatment program a fresh consent to the new course of treatment needs to be obtained from the patient and documented with the obligation to warn again of risks that may arise.
2. What is the valid life span of a consent document?
Best practice is that the consent form is considered valid for 12 months if the patient is able to recall the comprehensive process of informed consent and the information provided AND there has been no significant change in health status/nature of intended treatment.
If the Medical Officer is unsure how much information the patient has retained, or new information becomes available regarding the proposed intervention for example new available technology or new treatments that have been developed since the consent was given, then consent must be obtained prior to performing the intended treatment.
If 12 months have passed since the previous consent form has been signed, then a new consent form must be signed.
A patient may withdraw consent at any time.
3. Does Queensland Health have a specific Anaesthetic Consent form?
Queensland Health does not currently have an anaesthetic specific consent form.
However, there is a suite of standardised patient information sheets for anaesthesia. These information sheets include the definition and the generic material risks of the specific anaesthetic, the patient's responsibilities before having an anaesthetic, recovery from anaesthesia and things to avoid following an anaesthetic.
The anaesthetic patient information sheets should be used in conjunction with the relevant procedure specific forms. The information sheets are available on the informed consent website. The information sheets have been designed to assist both the patient and the medical officer to engage collaboratively in the process of obtaining informed, valid consent.