Abbott Transfusion Medicine Quality Symposia in India
NRL participated in a series of symposia on Raising Blood Safety Standards to the Next Level held by Abbott in Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai from the 7th – 9th of November. The format of each meeting involved a series of short presentations followed by round-table discussions focussing on the current situation and future direction of blood services in India. Susie Braniff from NRL presented on quality improvement strategies for the laboratory and Dr Christian Fischer and Anil Joseph from Abbott addressed global practices for transfusion transmitted infections and the benefits of consolidating laboratory testing to ensure high quality blood supply.
Across the three meetings, opinion leaders representing blood banks in India contributed to lively discussions on the progress of and current challenges facing the sector. There has been an increase in the number of voluntary blood donations in India over the past few years. However, with close to 3,000 blood banks in operation, identifying repeat donors is proving difficult. At the laboratory level a lack of standardisation in blood testing methods and inconsistencies across the network regarding adherence to recognised quality standards were identified as current areas for improvement. All of the participants at the symposia shared a commitment to continuing to strengthen the quality of blood banking in India. NRL would like to thank Abbott for the opportunity to discuss quality improvement strategies to ensure a safe blood supply in India’s blood banking network.