Asian Journal of Transfusion Science
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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 45-46
Current status of transfusion services

Emeritus Professor, Transfusion Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

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How to cite this article:
JoIIy J G. Current status of transfusion services. Asian J Transfus Sci 2007;1:45-6

How to cite this URL:
JoIIy J G. Current status of transfusion services. Asian J Transfus Sci [serial online] 2007 [cited 2023 Mar 27];1:45-6. Available from:

Technological developments in transfusion medicine have revolutionized the approach to utility of blood and blood products in the management of numerous afflictions in almost all the south Asian countries. However, the developments are not uniform in all countries, although technological developments made in these countries are remarkable.

During the earlier years, our prime concentration has been the introduction of improvement in preparation of various components, but recently emphasis has been on cord blood banking and stem cells. This shows the technological progress made in transfusion medicine in this part of the world. Previously, blood bankers were involved in blood and stem cell collection, processing, preservation and transfusion. We are gradually progressing to the bedside transfusion medicine. Stem cells have been of tremendous help in a variety of conditions, especially in cardiac, spinal, diabetic and paralytic disorders. It is felt that there is a need and potential for involvement of transfusion medicine specialists.

Human resource development has been a constant problem in most of the developing countries. A vigorous effort is required to overcome the shortage of trained manpower. Medical, as well as paramedical, personnel deserve special attention for manpower development from the transfusion medicine point of view. There is good progress in this field also. However, it is important to start postgraduate courses in more institutes. One important issue is lack of scope for higher education for technologists. More stress should be given to start courses for blood bank technologists to keep them motivated and to keep them abreast with recent developments.

There is an increasing concern globally about quality, safety and adequacy in the wake of AIDS pandemic. It is now internationally recognized that blood from nonremunerated regular voluntary donors is the safest blood supply. The principles of quality assurance and GMP have now become necessary in blood transfusion services for adhering to regulations and accreditations. However, there is a long way to go to achieve 100% voluntary donation. It will require comprehensive efforts from all quarters to achieve this goal. It is imperative to devise strategies to minimize dangers of transmissible infections, including curbing of high-risk donors and screening for AIDS, hepatitis, etc.

The establishment of the National Transfusion Services is of paramount importance, for which manpower development would require the training of medical, paramedical and social workers. This is perhaps the most crucial aspect of the program. Since the medical personnel would be playing a pivotal role in the implementation of the program among numerous categories of workers engaged in this service, it would be imperative that the leadership for the entire program should rest with the respective Medical Director. Further, it would be necessary to recognize blood transfusion as a distinct specialty like any other discipline in medicine, and this would necessitate the establishment of a separate Department of Transfusion Medicine in all medical institutes.

Having formulated a national policy, safety, quality control, standardization, proper organization and implementation need to be ensured all over the country for effective blood transfusion service. The need for standardized technology, equipment, reagents and allied materials for operational uniformity is crucial.

The drug control and licensing authorities should associate themselves with the accreditation program so that they can exercise effective control for licensing and elimination of commercialization.

Involvement of Red Cross Society (RCS) and other voluntary bodies or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) will pave a long way for achieving high voluntary blood collection in the country. Governments should entrust RCS and other NGOs the task of propagating the entire program of donor mobilization, motivational activities and preparation of materials for this purpose. In order to popularize blood donation program in all sections of the society, relevant importance should be given to various historical events through print and electronic media so that all sections of the community get an opportunity to participate in this humanitarian activity. It would be relevant to state that all the blood centers should make an effort to celebrate 7 th April, WHO Day; 8 th May, International Red Cross Day; 14 th June, World Blood Donation Day; and 1 st October, Voluntary Blood Donation Day. The nature of program during all these days can be planned according to the convenience of each local center. Organization of blood donation demonstration camps could be the most appropriate activity on such occasions.

Role of transfusion medicine in disaster management needs very careful planning for providing timely relief, but somehow this has been hardly attained in any of the southeast Asian countries. It is high time due care is extended to this aspect by the authorities concerned to save precious lives and ensure safety of transfusion practice in emergent situations.

Blood centers in the entire region should make serious efforts to evaluate hereditary and genetic disorders so that the pattern of the diseases associated with blood groups may provide information on the association of blood groups with disease and also help in the management of such ailments.

Correspondence Address:
Emeritus Professor, Transfusion Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-6247.33846

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2006 - Asian Journal of Transfusion Science | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 10th November, 2006