14 December 2020

A new report has been published that sets out the key priorities for blood and blood component transfusion services in England over the next five years.

The ‘Transfusion 2024’ report was written by NHS Blood and Transplant and the National Blood Transfusion Committee for NHS providers and other key stakeholders.

Transfusion practice has improved in recent years due to medical advances, clear guidelines, and better processes, but there is still evidence of variability in transfusion practice.

The new guidance is based on a symposium in March 2019, which highlighted the need to build on initiatives coordinated across the NHS as part of Patient Blood Management – an evidence-based approach to blood transfusion care.

The report’s recommendations include reviewing and updating staff training, better use of real-time information on the transfusion process, and the development of new whole blood and universal plasma components.

The report also calls for further research into donor and patient genotyping, which could improve care for patients who need chronic transfusions, such as those with blood cancers like myelodysplasia or sickle cell disease.

It emphasises the importance of embedding these effective approaches into long-term working practices.

Chief Medical Officer at NHS Blood and Transplant, Dr Gail Miflin, said: “Whilst transfusion is very safe there are always opportunities to improve how we deliver care. I am delighted that the transfusion community have come together to make these recommendations. This is a huge opportunity to improve the outcomes for people who need blood transfusions.”

She adds that the benefits to patients of greater partnership and closer working with hospital laboratories have been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: NHS Blood and Transplant



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