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National Haemovigilance Office Annual Report 2002 published

National Haemovigilance Office Annual Report 2002 published

The National Haemovigilance Office (NHO) 2002 Annual Report was launched today (Friday) at the National Blood Centre, in Dublin. Speaking at the launch, the Acting Chief Executive of the IBTS Andy Kelly said that the Report’s findings showed that blood transfusion therapy was a relatively safe procedure, with the majority of transfusions given within excellent standards of care. This is the third Annual Report of the NHO, covering the period 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2002.

"This is the third year of the scheme and with a high level of participation by hospitals in the programme, 93%, which represents an increase of 16% on participation figures for the year 2001. This participation is a testament to increased vigilance and awareness of the national haemovigilance programme by healthcare professionals.

The scheme is dedicated to the promotion of best transfusion practice at all stages of the transfusion chain and it demonstrates that the close collaboration existing between the IBTS and the clinical, nursing and laboratory staff in hospitals can benefit patient care," he added.

Dr Emer Lawlor, Director of the NHO said that the anonymised, no blame culture, focusing on system failure rather than personal failure, was critical to the ongoing success of the haemovigilance scheme in Ireland, and was supported by the leading experts in the field of medical error.

"Serious adverse events are rare, especially when compared to the large number of transfusions given in Irish hospitals. However, when adverse events and/or errors do occur, the National Haemovigilance Office collects the data, investigates and makes recommendations to improve practice and ultimately patient safety. Highlighting such events raises awareness, which will assist in a reduction of the likelihood of such events and errors being repeated. It is important to remember that patients depend on blood transfusion for many forms of surgery, cancer treatment or transplantation.

"During 2002, over 168,000 units of red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate were issued and the vast majority of these transfusions proceeded without incident. "One hundred and fifty five cases of adverse events/reactions relating to the transfusion of blood and blood components were reported to the NHO in 2002 of which eighty seven (56%) were in the category of Incorrect Blood Component Transfused.

"I wish to particularly acknowledge the support and efforts of the staff of the NHO in promoting best practice as well as researching and compiling the necessary data for the drafting of this report. Also a sincere word of gratitude to the hospital based Transfusion Surveillance Officers, Consultant Haematologists and Laboratory Medical Scientists who have supported the development of the reporting scheme. As a Service, we are acutely aware of the debt owed to the thousands of voluntary blood donors who donate every year," said Dr Lawlor.

ENDS

National Blood Centre, James's Street, Dublin 8.       Tel: 00 353 1 4322800       Fax: 00 353 1 4322930