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How is the COVID-19 Pandemic Affecting Patient Blood Management?
Blood donation has been dramatically reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing led to canceled blood drives. Coronavirus guidelines for America recommended people to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people and need to practice good hygiene like hand washing, but it has urged healthy individuals to donate blood. Blood donation centers can facilitate the safe donation of blood.
Guidelines by the World Health Organization
According to the World Health Organization, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 through transfusion is likely minimal and theoretical. But the experiences of other coronavirus outbreaks have significantly affected the blood supplies as the blood donation drives declined. The interim guidance provided by the World Health Organization further suggests blood services to activate emergency response plans. The networking cooperation of blood services across regions maintain the availability of blood and other blood components. The guideline also mentions deferring potential blood donors, who have fully recovered from confirmed COVID-19, or those who have direct exposure to COVID-19 from a confirmed case. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, restrictions are also based on the travel history of the donor. Though the risk of infection of the disease through transfusion is theoretical, the infected donor may also be considered if the blood or components have been transfused.
Innovative Technologies and Devices from Leading Vendors Likely to Improve the Patient Blood Management System
Asahi Kasei Medical: Sepacell TM Filters by Asahi Kasei medical revolutionized the patient blood management scenario completely and has also increased the confidence in healthcare. Leucocytes present in the blood sensitize transfusion recipient resulting in a nonhemolytic febrile transfusion reaction. Reduced leucocytes minimize the side effects. Centrifugation, washing, freezing, buffy coat removal, and filtration reduce leucocytes. Each method has different efficiency. Sepacell filters use Depth and adsorption filtration technology. Depth filters help to remove particles either by adherence or absorption onto the fibers or by entrapment whereas adsorption filters utilize the properties of white blood cells., which selectively adhere to filter fibers. Leucocyte reduced blood transfusion is applicable In sickle cell anemia, leukemia, thalassemia major, and aplastic anemia.
Roche: Roche is offering a comprehensive portfolio of nucleic acid testing (NAT) solutions that deliver the highest level of safety and efficiency in donor screening. The serology solutions of Roche ensure safe blood supply. Also, NAT solutions ensure maximum workflow efficiency. Nucleic acid testing reduces the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections in the recipients, providing an additional layer of blood safety. NAT is also capable of testing each donation individually and came in developed countries in the late 1990s. In India, blood centers are introducing NAT to provide safe blood to their patients.
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