Testing for Transfusion-Transmissible Infections (TTIs):
The National Blood Transfusion Service has laboratories which are strategically located in Zonal Blood Centres that perform laboratory testing of donated blood. Generally laboratory testing of blood is centralized to these strategically located laboratories unlike blood collection which is decentralized to Council level. The centralization of laboratory testing of donated blood is based on financial and quality reasons as recommended by WHO.
Each donation is routinely tested for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), and Syphilis using Chemiluminescent Microparticle Immunoassay (CMIA) technology which is optimally sensitive, specific and recommended by WHO for routine screening donated blood.
Blood Group Serology:
Each donation is routinely tested for ABO blood group, Rh type, Screening for unexpected antibodies, determination of high titre ABO antibodies in plasma.
Blood component production
NBTS processes whole blood donations into packed red cells, plasma, platelets, cryoprecipitate. Modified blood components are also produced on demand from transfusing facilities e.g. leucoreduced components, irradiated red cells etc.
Storage of Blood and Blood Components:
NBTS maintains a cold chain system for storage of blood components. Cold Chain Equipment installed in NBTS laboratories include Walk-in coldrooms, Blood Bank Refrigerators, Blood Bank Freezers and platelet incubators/agitators. Temperature on these storage equipment is continuously monitored automatically using electronic devices which provide alerts for immediate action when temperature goes out of set range.
Issuing of Safe Blood
NBTS laboratories issue blood and blood components from the donations collected by the zonal centre blood collection teams.
Transfusing facilities request blood and blood components by filling in a blood request forms. The forms are submitted to NBTS laboratories which review the requests and issue the requested blood components using the Blood Establishment Computer System.