Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
1384.6 - Statistics - Tasmania, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/09/2002   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

Feature Article - Australian Red Cross blood transfusion service

Contributed by the Blood Transfusion Service, Tasmanian Division

The Australian Red Cross Blood Services aims to provide a safe blood supply for both the expected and the emergency needs of Tasmanians. Maintaining a safe, high quality supply of blood and blood products is a far more complex operation today than in past years. Both the screening of donors and the testing of blood, once collected, are operations that need to be carried out with adherence to stringent safeguards.


AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS TRANSFUSION SERVICE, TASMANIA ACTIVITY - 1993-94

Number

Individual donors
11,587
Donations collected
22,069
Units of plasma for separation into other products
20,162

Source: Australian Red Cross.

There are Red Cross blood centres in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie. Purpose-built laboratories were opened in June 1991 and a reorganisation of the different departments State-wide was undertaken. Blood throughout the State is now distributed from Hobart.

In 1995 Blood Services Tasmania obtained the Certificate of Registration to the standard of Quality ISO 9002/AS 3902/NZ 9002, the first Blood Service in Australia to achieve this level of accreditation.

Donors are interviewed and assessed before the donation is taken. It usually takes about half an hour from the time the donor fills in the necessary forms until the cup of tea, coffee or milkshake is provided by the volunteers at the end of the donation.

DONOR BLOOD GROUPS, AVERAGE OCCURRENCE

Proportion

Type
%

ABO and Rh(D)(a)
O Pos
36
O Neg
9
A Pos
32
A Neg
8
B Pos
9
B Neg
2
AB Pos
3
AB Neg
1

(a) Rhesus factor: positive has the Rhesus antigen factor; negative does not have it.

Source: Australian Red Cross.

A healthy person can donate whole blood about every twelve weeks. Whole blood donations from registered donors are split into several components, such as red cells, platelets and plasma.


PRODUCTS SUPPLIED BY BLOOD SERVICES TASMANIA, 1993-94

Product group
Units shipped
Active components

Albumin solutions
6,868
151,626 grams
Intravenous immunoglobin
1,346
14,775 grams
Factor VII (clotting factor)
4,651
1,162,750 IU
Intramuscular immunoglobin
Normal
2,377
Specials
Anti D
1,593
Tetanus antibodies
1,164
Other
104
Red cells
19,485
Platelets
5,992
Fresh frozen plasma
1,793
Cryoprecipitate
201

Source: Australian Red Cross.

Autologous blood collection was commenced in the early 1980s. This involves the collection of a person’s own blood prior to undergoing elective surgery. The blood collected this way can only be used for the particular person who has donated it.

In 1991 the plasmapheresis service began. Using sophisticated equipment, the donor’s blood is taken, passed through a machine that removes only the plasma, and is then returned to the donor. As they do not lose their red blood cells, plasmapheresis donors can donate more frequently than whole blood donors. The process usually takes about forty minutes.

A clinical service is also provided to hospital-based clinical oncology services by providing an instrument-based procedure for cell removal from the blood stream. This allows peripheral blood stem cells to be harvested. These can be used to transplant in place of bone marrow.

At the accreditation laboratory blood screening tests are performed, ranging from blood grouping; testing for antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus type I and II, hepatitis C, and human T leukaemia virus; testing for the hepatitis B virus and screening for syphilis.

In 1992 the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry was initiated, which allowed volunteers to have their names placed on a register of people willing to donate bone marrow for use in the treatment of leukaemia. The Donor Centre and Tissue Typing are undertaken by the Australian Red Cross Blood Services Tasmania on behalf of the Australian Bone Marrow Registry. Tissue Typing is also performed by the laboratory for clinical patients within Tasmania.

Blood is released from quarantine after the necessary tests have been performed and found satisfactory. Then blood and blood products are distributed throughout Tasmania to hospitals, doctors and pathology departments. Great care needs to be taken in the handling of the products to ensure they are maintained in the optimum condition.

The Blood Service is often taken for granted, but a large scale emergency can highlight the importance of maintaining a regular supply of blood and blood products. Victims of accidents or patients undergoing prolonged treatment appreciate the generous gift of life. The voluntary donors’ reward is the knowledge that they perform a vital service.

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.