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  1. 1

    Global Blood Safety Initiative. Minimum targets for blood transfusion services. Geneva, 20-22 March 1989.

    World Health Organization [WHO]. Global Programme on AIDS. Health Laboratory Technology Unit; League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

    [Unpublished] 1989. 4 p. (WHO/GPA/INF/89.14; WHO/LAB/89.5)

    The World Health Organization's minimum targets for blood transfusion services are multiple and may be implemented at different levels of sophistication. The following outline is to be a minimum requirement to ensure a safe blood supply. A national blood transfusion advisory committee should be formed and a blood policy should be formulated. Directors, supporting personnel, and ancillary staff must be of adequate numbers and possess levels of training that meet a minimum standard set by the committee. Operational responsibility should be clearly defined. collaboration with the military should create a national pool of resources in order to better respond to emergencies. Blood donations must collected in an organized manner with adequate record keeping to ensure a healthy and adequate supply. Safety must be of a minimum level in order to ensure adequate public response. Blood collection centers should include refrigerators that can reliably maintain a temperature of 20-6 degrees C. Rh typing and ABO grouping must be consistent and reliable. Screening for HIV, hepatitis, and other blood transmittable diseases must be reliable and efficient. Verifiable records must be kept and inventory must be tightly controlled. Hospital transfusion services should be similarly set up. Training and education programs must be set up for health care professionals.
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  2. 2

    Safe blood: the WHO sets out its principles.

    Koistinen J

    AIDS ANALYSIS AFRICA. 1992 Nov-Dec; 2(6):4, 6.

    Developing countries face considerable obstacles to ensuring a safe blood supply and safe blood transfusions. There is a tendency for developing countries to not have enough available blood so they depend on family blood donors. Blood donors receive money for their donation. Testing is unreliable as is recording of results. Many clinicians do not have the experience to adequately determine when a transfusion is needed, e.g., physicians ordered a blood transfusion for a 5-year old African girl with pneumonia who had anemia (hemoglobin level of 52 m) after the 1st HIV test was negative. Yet this anemia case did not require a blood transfusion. A repeat of the test revealed the donated blood was indeed HIV positive. 2 other children also received that blood. The basic principles of blood safety are enough safe blood donors, a responsible blood transfusion service which can ensure appropriate and safe processing and testing of blood, and appropriate use of blood. A safe blood donor is healthy and has no risk factors for HIV and other infections. 40-60% of donated blood in developing countries goes to pregnant women often during delivery and children. The leading source of blood in the least developed and developing countries is replacement donors (88% and 81% respectively) who tend to be family members or friends. Yet often relatives of the patient pay someone they do not know to donate their blood. Blood banks also pay for donations and more than 56% of them are uncoordinated banks in hospitals. So organized blood donation services which can safely test and process blood would reduce the risk of transmitting HIV and other infections. WHO has set up a blood safety policy that encourages member countries to establish their own national blood transfusion policy. It supports countries along these lines via its global Programme on AIDS an the Global Blood Safety Initiative. Any blood safety activities can only succeeded with political commitment.
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