Technical FAQs

1

How do I access the databases and other documents available only to registered facilities?

2

Where do I find the Product Description Codes that I need?

3

How do I obtain a new Product Description Code?

4

What is a local use code?

5

We are doing research on new blood components. How do I get a Product Description Code for these products?

6

How do I label intraoperatively collected autologous blood?

7

Is the use of the check character during keyboard entry of the Donation Identification Number required every time I type it in?

8

I heard there are "flags" used in the Donation Identification Number. What do you mean by flags, and do I need to use the them?

9

Where can I find ISBT 128 labels for validation?

10

Is the use of concatenation required?

11

We are having difficulty getting our scanner to read concatenated ISBT 128 bar codes. What can I do?

12

Can ISBT 128 be used with 2-D bar codes or RFID tags?

13

Can I use ISBT 128 bar codes to label a Red Cell product as antigen-negative based on historical antigen testing of the donor?

   

Technical Frequently Asked Questions

1

How do I access the databases and other documents available only to registered facilities?

 

The Product Description Codes Database and documents are located in the Tech Library section of the website. The database and some documents are only accessible to registered users whose facilities are current on their registration and annual licensing fees.

 

2

Where do I find the Product Description Codes that I need?

 

ICCBBA has posted the Product Description Codes on the website in the Product Description Codes Database section. Registered and licensed facilities can download the Product Description Codes so long as they are current with their licensing requirements. Another useful tool in determining which Product Description Code you need is the Product Description Code Lookup Program.

The Product Description Codes Database is updated approximately 10 times per year. It is essential to update your copy regularly to have the most current information regarding ISBT 128 Product Description Codes. You can subscribe to ICCBBA's mailing list to be notified of updates via email.

 

3

How do I obtain a new Product Description Code?

 

To request a new Product Description Code that is not already in the database (and can be described sufficiently with current ISBT 128 terminology), a product request form can be submitted. 

Request forms for Product Description Codes can be found on the website, and must be completed and submitted online. There are different forms for – blood, cellular therapy, ocular, organ transplant, reproductive, tissue, fecal microbiota, in vivo diagnostic MPHO, human milk, plasma derivative, and topical – products. These forms can be found in the Subject Area section of the website:

For further information on how to obtain a new Product Description Code, click here.

 

4

What is a local use code? 

 

Local use codes are primarily used for “boutique” or research products. They are also used for in-process products that a system may require to track.

Local codes are defined and maintained by the facility – ICCBBA does not maintain or keep track of these codes. Codes A0000 through D9999 are reserved for local use. These codes should ONLY be used where there is not an appropriate international code, and when there is good reason why an international code should not be allocated.

If there is any uncertainty whether the code assigned to a product should be – internationally or locally/nationally/regionally – defined, please contact the ICCBBA office.

 

5

We are doing research on new blood components. How do I get a Product Description Code for these products?

 

ISBT 128 permits any facility (licensed with ICCBBA) to assign a "local code" to products in development. These codes should be made known to blood centers doing the research, and any facility or facilities using the new products in clinical trials, etc. Outside of this group, these codes may have a different meaning. See the ST-001 ISBT 128 Standard Technical Specification for details.

 

6

How do I label intraoperatively collected autologous blood?

 

If the products will be stored in the laboratory, a local code (first letter A-D) should be used. For example, A0001 could be "Intraoperative Washed Red Blood Cells". Other labeling should follow national requirements.

 

7

Is the use of the check character during keyboard entry of the Donation Identification Number required every time I type it in?

 

The check character feature is calculated based on the ISO modulo 37-2 method. Its use is not required, but is strongly encouraged every time you have keyboard entry of your Donation Identification Number (DIN). Your computer system software should be designed to recognize keyboard entry of the DIN and to require verification of the entry via the check character. This will ensure the accuracy of the keyboard data entry, minimizing transcription and transposition errors.

Although its use is optional, the printing of the check character next to the DIN is required. The printing of the check character is also required for other data structures (e.g., Special Testing: Red Blood Cell Antigens – General, Donor Identification Number, etc.). 

 

8

I heard there are "flags" used in the Donation Identification Number. What do you mean by flags, and do I need to use them?

 

Flags are part of the Donation Identification Number (DIN), and are unique identifiers that can be used to facilitate the control of various processes in a blood center. For example, different sample tubes can be “flagged” to ensure that the correct tube is used for a specific test procedure. The decision to use the flags is voluntary and will not interfere with shipments of blood products from one facility to another.

For examples of the use of flag characters, see IG-010 Technical Bulletin 7: Use of Flags in the Donation Identification Number for Process Control of Critical Points During Processing and Distribution.

 

9

Where can I find ISBT 128 labels for validation?

 

Sample bar codes (both valid and invalid) that can be used for validation purposes may be found on the ICCBBA website in IG-013 Technical Bulletin 10: Valid and Invalid Bar Codes for use in ISBT 128 Validations.

 

10

Is the use of concatenation required?

 

Concatenation is a method by which the information held in two bar codes is combined in the scanner into a single string of data before being sent to the host computer. The use of concatenation is encouraged but not required. When set up properly, concatenation can be a powerful process control tool used to ensure information is scanned from the same product label. 

 

11

We are having difficulty getting our scanner to read concatenated ISBT 128 bar codes. What can I do?

 

The user’s manual for your bar code scanner should have the information you need (in the form of bar codes) to turn on and off the different types of bar code symbologies and concatenation features. It is recommended that you turn off all other symbologies that are not being used. You may need to contact your bar code scanner supplier if you require additional assistance. 

 

12

Can ISBT 128 be used with 2-D bar codes or RFID tags?

 

ISBT 128 data structures can be delivered using a number of different technologies including Code 128 bar codes, two-dimensional (2-D) bar codes, Reduced Space Symbology (RSS) bar codes, wireless radio frequency identification transponders (RFID tags), and EDI messages.

 

13

Can I use ISBT 128 bar codes to label a Red Cell product as antigen-negative based on historical antigen testing of the donor? 

The ISBT 128 Standard does not create standards for testing. Rather, ISBT 128 provides information on how a product can be labeled or how information should be transmitted electronically. ICCBBA defers to national authorities to determine when a unit may be labeled as antigen-negative – click here, for practices in some countries. The information provided in the table is based on an informal survey of ISBT 128 users, and may reflect only a single facility within a country.


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