The IBTS offers a number of specialist services to hospitals throughout the country. These include clinical and diagnostic services, the National Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Reference Laboratory, the Irish Unrelated Bone Marrow Registry and the Tissue Bank.
IBTS Research and Development Strategy
Research thrives on innovation and questions, IBTS aims to be a research leader, at the forefront of blood transfusion medicine, providing the answers and the evidence that will ultimately benefit our donors and patients.
Reporting to National Haemovigilance Office (NHO)
The National Haemovigilance Office was set up by the IBTS and launched by the Minister for Health and Children in 1999. The purpose of a haemovigilance programme is to identify unexpected or undesirable effects of transfusion of blood components by ensuring they are reported in a timely and reliable manner.The NHO is also charged with promotion of best transfusion practice in hospitals throughout Ireland, through advice, guidelines and education.
The Hospital Services Department in both the National Blood Centre and the Munster Regional Transfusion Centre are responsible for the distribution of all blood products and medicinal products nationally. Distribution is performed in both sites and is aided by the use of the Electronic Ordering System which was rolled out to all hospitals nationally in 2012. All orders received are managed prior to distribution by close cooperation between the Components Laboratory and Hospital Services personnel in the NBC and between the Components laboratory, Despatch and Crossmatch personnel in the MRTC. The Hospital Services Department in both centres also work closely with the selected transport company working on behalf of the Health Service Executive to support delivery of all products to hospitals daily.
The NHIRL provides a comprehensive range of tests designed to complement the Haematopoietic Stem Cell transplantation (HSCT) programmes available in Ireland, as well as providing HLA typing for disease association and drug sensitivity investigations. In addition, a leucocyte and platelet immunology service for the investigation of platelet refractoriness, TRALI, NAITP and PTP is provided. The NHIRL has been accredited by the European Federation for Immunogenetics (EFI) since 2001.
The tissue bank supplies a broad range of donated human tissues directly to hospitals for surgical and therapeutic use across Ireland. These tissues include heart valves, ocular tissue (corneas and sclera), musculoskeletal tissue, amnion membrane, serum eye-drops and allogeneic skin for treatment of burns. In January 2016 the IBTS Tissue Bank was granted a licence for manufacture of Limbal Stem Cells, an Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Product (ATMP) for use in treatment of limbal stem cell deficiency. This treatment has successfully relieved pain and restored vision in patients who have suffered damage to the cornea from thermal or chemical burns, or as a result of certain disorders such as aniridia or autoimmune diseases such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Click here for more information on the function of the tissue bank in the IBTS.
Red Cell Immunohaematology & Diagnostics
The RCI laboratory at the NBC and the Diagnostics laboratory at MRTC provide a comprehensive blood transfusion service for samples referred by hospitals in the Republic of Ireland. The major areas of expertise are in red cell serology and antenatal services, in addition to routine hospital blood bank activity. These services ensure safe blood provision and monitoring of patients who have made red cell antibodies.
The IBTS is an HPRA licensed Blood and Tissue Establishment. The EU Directive 2002/98/EC and associated Directives are applicable to the Blood Establishment. The EU Directive 2004/23/EC is applicable to the Tissue Establishment. These directives ensure the standard of quality and safety in relation to recruitment, donation, testing, processing, storage, and distribution of all blood and blood components and tissues including stem cells. The Quality Department is responsible, in conjunction with the medical, scientific and nursing staff, for the development, implementation and review of the Quality Management System to ensure that Good Manufacturing Practice, Good Laboratory Practice and regulatory requirements are met and best practice is achieved.
Bone Marrow Registry
The Irish Unrelated Bone Marrow Registry (IUBMR) is part of The Irish Blood Transfusion Service. The IUBMR performs searches on behalf of adult and paediatric patients in need of an unrelated haematopoietic stem cell transplant. The IUBMR is the designated World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) National Hub for the Republic of Ireland (reg ID 121061).
Blood Group Genetics
The Blood Group Genetics Laboratory is a new department at the IBTS. Our purpose is to provide a service for the determination of blood groups through molecular methods.
Find out more about our phlebotomy services for patients with Hereditary Haemochromatosis.
Guidelines on Good Research Practice
Find here links to the Health Research Board on good research practice and handling allegations of misconduct.