There have been rapid technological advances in blood banking in South Asian region over the past decade with an increasing emphasis on quality and safety of blood products. The conventional test tube technique has given way to newer techniques such as column agglutination technique, solid phase red cell adherence assay, and erythrocyte-magnetized technique. These new technologies are adaptable to automation and major manufacturers in this field have come up with semi and fully automated equipments for immunohematology tests in the blood bank. Automation improves the objectivity and reproducibility of tests. It reduces human errors in patient identification and transcription errors. Documentation and traceability of tests, reagents and processes and archiving of results is another major advantage of automation. Shifting from manual methods to automation is a major undertaking for any transfusion service to provide quality patient care with lesser turnaround time for their ever increasing workload. This article discusses the various issues involved in the process.
Automation; immunohematology; serology
Sultanate of Oman is geographically situated in south-west of Asia, having common borders on western side by the land with United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen and with the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the east and the north respectively. The country enjoys one of the best health care facilities including blood transfusion services in the region.
Information was collected through informal personal interviews, digging out the past records, and the report presentations at various forums.
A modest start by providing blood units through import, the country is now self-reliant on procuring blood units from voluntary non-remunerate blood donors within the sultanate. A steady growth of blood banks is witnessed in every aspect of blood banking including blood collection, blood processing and supply. Various modalities are adapted in promoting voluntary blood donation programme.
Sultanate of Oman has created one of the best blood transfusion services in the region in providing safe blood for transfusion through voluntary donation, a use of blood components and irradiating blood products.
Blood transfusion services; voluntary blood donation; national blood transfusion services; Sultanate of Oman
Transfusion related acute lung injury (TRALI) has become a major reported cause of severe transfusion reactions and mortality. Over the past four years significant changes have been taken in Canada in order both to improve the recognition of the risk and to decrease its incidence. An international meeting was held in April of 2004 entitled “Towards an Understanding of TRALI". As a result of the analysis and recommendations from this meeting, the Canadian Blood Services established an ongoing review committee and established a laboratory diagnostic facility to identify at risk donors and recipients. A system has been developed to identify implicated donors and exclude them from the blood donor pool. Other steps have been taken to exclude potentially high risk donors, such as previously pregnant females, from the plasma and platelet donor pool. A considerable amount of education also has been offered to clinical services in the country. This paper summarizes the definitions, categorizations of implicated donors, and the ongoing precautionary activities related to plasma products. Noted within the article are the methods used for locating and selecting data. These were primarily based on the international TRALI conference in 2004, and from ongoing discussions and information provided by the Canadian Blood Services TRALI Review Committee. No ethics referral or approval was requested, and a summary is included in the article.
Transfusion related acute lung injury risk reduction
A practical workshop on ‘Immunohematology’ was conducted in conjunction with the Indian Society of Blood Transfusion and Immunohaematology annual scientific program. The participants, from many parts of India, were able to obtain valuable practice in key areas of blood group serology and by the end of the workshop were able to carry out ‘tube’ techniques for antibody detection and identification. Column agglutination methods were also demonstrated. A preliminary questionnaire was completed by participants. Results showed a wide variety in types of pretransfusion (serologic) testing being performed. Less than half of the participants had encountered hemolytic transfusion reactions. The program was rated as excellent by most participants in response to a postworkshop evaluation questionnaire, with requests for longer and more frequent workshops. Safety of blood for transfusion depends on maintenance of high standards of both microbiological and immunohematological performance by the blood bank staff.
Blood group serology; education; immunohematology