Experts stress the need for safe blood transfusion practices

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Experts stress the need for safe blood transfusion practices

Clinicians and blood banking experts at a Seminar in Gilgit stressed the need for safe blood transfusion practices, haemovigilance and rational use of blood. The speakers also called for the introduction and promotion of blood safety standards, particularly in tertiary care hospitals, to pave the way for an adequate, efficient and cost-effective blood supply.

The 1-day seminar was organised by organized by Regional Blood Centre Gilgit in collaboration with EPOS-KfW, and SBTP. More than 50 participants including registrars, medical officers from medicine, surgery, gynae/obstetrics, paediatrics, orthopaedics, gastroenterology, accident and emergency and nursing supervisors of DHQ Hospital, Govt. City Hospital and other private/NGO sector healthcare facilities (Family Health Hospital and Aga Khan Medical Centre) attended the event. Dr. Israr Ahmed, Director Health Services, G-B was the chief guest on the occasion. The seminar facilitators included Prof. Hasan Abbas Zaheer, National Coordinator SBTP, Dr. Abdul Latif, Manager RBC Gilgit, and Usman Waheed, Technical Experts SBTP.

The seminar started with the introduction to the blood safety reforms in Pakistan and briefing on seminar objectives by Prof. Hasan Abbas Zaheer, National Coordinator SBTP. Technical presentations discussed the quality criteria for blood transfusion process. The speakers discussed that the strategy for blood safety emphasizes the need to reduce unnecessary transfusions through the appropriate clinical use of blood including the use of blood components and intravenous replacement fluids and other simple alternatives to transfusion, wherever possible. Blood component therapy should only be given when the expected benefits to the patient are likely to outweigh the potential hazards. The adverse transfusion reactions, their documentation on standard forms and reactions follow-up were also discussed in detail.

Prof. Zaheer informed the participants that the SBTP and RBC Gilgit organized a similar seminar in July 2017, and the outcomes have been very successful, the Govt. City Hospital established a Hospital Transfusion Committee, all blood collected is shifted to RBC for processing and screening, no whole blood is being transfused and the standard form are in use. A similar approach is required from the DHQ Hospital and the NGO/private sector hospitals to ensure the safety of blood.

The seminar ended with a vote of thanks and concluding address by the Director Health Services, Gilgit Baltistan. All participants agreed to utilize the facility of RBC and will transfuse only require blood component instead do fresh whole blood.