Blood Safety – WHO Announces New Plan

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Blood Safety – WHO Announces New Plan


Blood Safety and Transport Announcements

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently announced its new worldwide plan for improving universal access to safe blood and blood products. While progress in blood safety and availability is the end goal, one in four low-income countries do not currently test all the donated blood they receive, and 54% of countries do not have surveillance systems in place to monitor the supply chain from donor to patient.

Part of this attempt at global improvement will factor in the transit period between the four stages of blood transport: donor centre testing, blood banks, transportation to hospitals, and even relatively brief transportation to wards. It is suggested that as many as 10% of all blood donations are lost, often during transport due to issues such as expiration, temperature breach, or burst packaging.

Blood Safety and Quality Regulations recommends that “red cell preparations and whole blood should be kept between +2°C to +6°C” during transit. Prolonged breaches of this temperature limit can result in a loss which costs approximately £120 per red cell unit. Besides financial implications, the loss can affect critical blood stocks, or have catastrophic effects to low-income countries where the blood is not tested before use.

Temperature indicators provide a simple solution to blood safety practice in transit. They track each blood bag individually to ensure that a temperature breach has not occurred. This decreases blood waste, and provides auditable proof that blood has been stored, transported and reissued in accordance with applicable regulatory standards. ShockWatch’s solutions provide easy to read visual alerts, to warn when a blood bag goes above or below the limits set.

Temperature Indicators

BloodTemp has been specifically designed to monitor blood bags throughout transportation and storage. The indicator alerts users when the temperature of the blood bag is exposed to temperatures over 10°C. It is a simple solution which improves blood safety practices, decreases blood waste, and provides auditable proof that blood has been stored, transported and reissued in accordance with applicable regulatory standards.

ColdMark is an easy to apply, tamper-proof, irreversible indicator that once activated shows a permanent record of exposure. It is specifically designed to help identify any gaps in transit and allows your recipient to see if the blood has been exposed to unacceptable temperatures, specifically between -3°C to +10°C.

WarmMark works similarly but has a broader range; between -20°C to +38°C.

Both indicators offer complete flexibility for requirements as well as a complete solution when used together, allowing the practitioner to see at a quick glance whether the blood bag has experienced a temperature breach.

Wireless Alternatives

For blood safety in storage facilities under strict compliance standards, we recommend checking out the Hanwell IceSpy Air Core. It is designed to meet BS4376 for blood samples. Made from Polypropylene, the Air Core sensor simulates the core temperature of a blood bag within fridges, rather than the temperature of the surrounding air.

To find out more about our temperature indicators, contact us today.