Tulasi Hospital Department of Transfusion Medicine has grown from a small licensed blood bank in 1999 to a 24-hour, advanced facility that offers the entire spectrum of services from blood collection to testing and component separation. The first of its kind in the country, its services are organised by functional area, each handled by skilled and experienced staff.
Transfusion medicine is concerned with blood products and blood transfusions. However, its scope is not limited to the blood bank laboratory alone; it has reached the patient’s bedside. Its services are particularly vital and play a curative role in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, for kidney, liver and bone marrow transplants, and in cases where the body attacks the nervous system.
The Department’s state-of-the-art facilities ensure that the blood is prepared and stored to global standards. Quality control is of paramount importance. In order to ensure provision of safe and quality blood, regular quality control checks are done for all reagents, antisera, blood components and equipment. The Department also participates in an external quality assurance with CMC, Vellore. It will soon be tying up with the UK’s National External Quality Assessment Service.
Tulasi Hospital donor complex remains open throughout the day for the convenience of donors. Facilities for autologous and directed donations are also available. A qualified physician screens prospective donors to determine their suitability for blood donation. Blood is collected only from voluntary donors who satisfy our stringent selection criteria and after proper screening tests for infectious diseases. All standards set by the state authorities, WHO and the American Association of Blood Banks are met. Counsellors talk to donors before and after donation. After the blood is collected, donors are kept under observation. The Department also registers donors for the emergency panel, which meets requirements when there are shortages and specific group requirements.
The Department of Transfusion Medicine also organises regular voluntary donation camps in conjunction with various religious and social organisations, corporate offices and educational institutions. Donor cards and certificates are given to all voluntary blood donors.
Blood component separation enables optimum utilisation of a scarce resource and promotes rational use of blood. The various blood components available are packed red blood cells, fresh frozen plasma, platelet concentrate and cryoprecipitate.
All donor units are screened for transfusion-transmissible infections, using the advanced Abbott Architect i1000SR system. The blood is screened for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis and malaria.
Removal of leucocytes, a type of white blood cell, from blood components has been shown to minimise reactions to transfused blood, HLA alloimmunisation and platelet refractoriness in multi-transfused patients. It prevents the transmission of leuco-tropic viruses such as EBV and CMV. All blood components issued at Tulasi Hospital are 100% leuco-filtered according to international standards.
Aphaeresis is a technology by which the blood of a donor or patient is passed through an apparatus that singles out and separates one particular constituent and returns the remainder to the circulation. It is used both therapeutically and to collect specific blood components.
Tulasi Hospital offers round-the-clock aphaeresis services using sophisticated aphaeresis machines to enable the removal of the desired blood components, like platelets, granulocytes and stem cells, from blood donors for use in patients.
Tulasi Hospital 24-hour laboratory performs various immuno-hematological tests in the serology laboratory before the blood is issued to patients. These include: