Decentralisation of blood banks reduces death caused by continuous bleeding

The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) has significantly contributed to reducing deaths caused by continuous bleeding by the decentralisation of blood banks.

This was highlighted by the Director of the NBTS Dr Pedro Lewis, during an interview on the Ministry of Health’s recent edition of the ‘Health Matters’ programme.

Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), Dr Pedro Lewis speaking during the interview

“This year, we have contributed a lot as it pertains to maternal deaths by bleeding. If you go around the country, you will see we have blood stored at hospitals like Moruca, Mabaruma and…Mahaicony,” the Dr stated.

He also noted that blood will also soon be stored in Port Kaituma.

The availability of blood in these areas has helped to reduce the time spent searching for a matching blood type and waiting for blood to be transported into the region. It has helped reduce the transfer of an injured person to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) to access blood.

“You know when someone is bleeding you don’t have time, so the closer you are to the saved blood is better because you give the person a better chance of making it. You also give the doctors a lot of time so that they can perform better,” Dr Lewis explained.

A blood donor signing up to voluntary give blood

Additionally, Dr Lewis mentioned that the NBTS has been storing plasma in various areas.

He emphasised the importance of having all the necessary blood components available.

“While bleeding, a person could go into Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) within minutes if they don’t have all the components present. So, we must have plasma at these locations and cryoprecipitate to assist during bleeding,” the director of the NBTS expressed.

DIC is a serious disorder where the proteins that control blood clotting become overactive.

As such, plasma and cryoprecipitate are critical components during the blood transfusion process. Plasma carries vital nutrients to various parts of the body while cryoprecipitate which is a part of the plasma contains several clotting proteins that help to control bleeding.

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