Working together for safety
Ensuring the greatest possible safety of blood products and donors is one of Swiss Transfusion SRC’s central responsibilities. It is a task that requires close collaboration with experts in Switzerland and with international organisations.
There are always new developments in the blood donation field, and it is essential that Swiss Transfusion SRC be prepared for them. Hence, the organisation has set up working groups, in which it cooperates with specialists from the regional blood transfusion services on a range of topics. Seven working groups regularly meet for three to four sessions each year. The topics range from infectious diseases to donation eligibility criteria to the national blood supply and quality management.
When complex topics come up, ad-hoc expert groups are formed, often with specialists from hospitals or government authorities among their members. Like the working groups, these expert groups also observe and assess developments at the international level. The working groups and expert groups then issue a recommendation to Swiss Transfusion SRC.
One of the expert groups established in 2017 focuses on donors whose blood has been found to contain an infectious disease. Swiss Transfusion SRC feels that it is important to find out how a donor became infected with a disease: this knowledge can be used to determine whether additional measures might enhance transfusion safety. Learning that one has an infectious disease from a blood transfusion service doctor is a very difficult situation for a donor. Donor care and safety is always a factor considered in the expert groups.
Meeting of the expert group working on infectious diseases of donors: Christoph Niederhauser (Interregional Blood Transfusion), Soraya Amar (Swiss Transfusion SRC), Stefanie Mast (Swiss Transfusion SRC), Jochen Gottschalk (Zurich Blood Transfusion Service SRC), Aylin Jaspersen (Swiss Transfusion SRC), Caroline Tinguely (Interregional Blood Transfusion), Tina Weingand (Blood Transfusion Service of Central Switzerland)