Overview of research and studies carried out in 2012

 

Within this research and development strategy, the Blood Service carried out a number of studies and pieces of research in 2012.

  1. 1. Assessment of the blood destination form
    Using the Business Intelligence (BI) tool, the effectiveness of the blood destination form (‘bloedbestemmingsformulier’) was analyzed based on nearly three million donations. On this form, donors can indicate whether or not they have engaged in behavior that is liable to increase their risk of catching AIDS. Our analysis found that the blood destination form needed to be simplified as too many donations were being lost due to the form being incorrectly completed.

    This study was presented at the International Haemovigilance Seminar in Brussels in early 2013. The Blood Service is working on a new reporting form with a broad test panel of donors to minimize the risk of forms being filled in incorrectly.

  2. 2. Hemochromatosis patients and blood donation
    In collaboration with the Centre for Evidence-Based Practice, the Blood Service carried out research into hemochromatosis and blood donation. Hemochromatosis patients have too much iron in their blood and can keep their iron levels within normal range by giving blood regularly. We examined whether these patients can be blood donors and whether their blood is safe to use for transfusion.

    The online survey (completed by 35 blood centers in 33 countries) showed clearly that different policies are applied around the world. Due to the lack of a uniform policy, we also carried out a systematic review of available literature. Six articles were selected out of a total of 3,470, none of which proved that the blood would not be safe, subject to certain conditions. These insights were brought together in a scientific article, which was published in the Journal of Hepatology.

  3. 3. Temperature-controlled container
    Following in-depth research and an extensive test phase, we began using temperature-controlled containers in 2012. They were specially designed to meet the strict requirements governing the storage and transportation of blood products.

  4. 4. Comparative plasma study
    At the Annual Meeting of AABB (American Association of Blood Banks), the Blood Service presented a poster showing the results of tests on three different forms of virus inactivation for plasma. This is the first time anywhere in the world that the effect of these three different forms of virus inactivation has been compared, based on the same source material. The study found that the method currently used by the Blood Service can easily withstand comparison with the other methods.

  5. 5. Transfusion Research Center (TReC)  
    Having been established in 2011, the Transfusion Research Center (TReC) became further operational in 2012. TReC  endeavors, through basic scientific research,  to generate as much knowledge as possible about the properties of blood components, while also engaging in translational research.

    TReC focuses mainly on platelet storage. Using advanced techniques, it seeks scientifically substantiated answers to questions about the function of platelets. How do platelets adhere to the wall of a blood vessel? How do they form clots? What markers do they carry? How does this change when the platelets are processed and stored? TReC also published its first scientific study in 2012.

  6. 6. Automation at HILA using Hamilton
    2012 was a major year of validation for HILA. Thanks to the two Hamilton automated solutions, around 90% of tests performed by HILA will pass through one or both systems.  With this degree of automation, we are leading the way in Europe. Since the launch of the automation project, we have been working flat-out to ensure that all of our processes are lean, robust and controlled, in both technical and organizational terms, in order to guarantee a high-quality service. The processes and data flows have not only been automated but also analyzed in detail and optimized. This has enhanced our testing performance and maximized traceability from the initial request through to the reported result.
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Development of our R&D strategy

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