By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi has tasked all Health workers and stakeholders in the blood transfusion chain in Lagos State have been tasked on the need to adhere to safe blood transfusion practices and ensure patient safety in blood transfusion procedures.
The State’s Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, gave the charge at the weekend during a virtual workshop on Safe Blood Transfusion Practices organized by the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS) for health care professionals in private and public health facilities.
According to the Director, Public Affairs in the ministry, Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, the ommissioner was represented by the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Services (LSBTS), Dr. Bodunrin Oshikomaiya, on the occasion.
Abayomi said that a wide range of errors which may occur at various stages and process of transfusion must be guarded against in view of the need for patient safety and wellbeing in transfusion services.
“Blood safety and patient safety in transfusion service is a topic that cannot be overemphasized; this is why the Lagos State Government through LSBTS is working with the World Health Organisation to improve access to safe blood for transfusions and promote blood safety.
“This is why we initiated this training as a capacity building mechanism for all cadres of health professionals involved in blood transfusion chain to recognize and prevent errors in blood transfusion process and ensure that only safe blood are made available for transfusion in our health facilities,” Abayomi said.
He explained that safe blood transfusion practices involves all activities in blood donation chain from blood collection from low-risk, regular, voluntary unpaid donors as well as testing, processing, storage, distribution of blood to actual transfusion.
He pointed out that LSBTS is focusing on four key areas to achieve safe blood transfusion services. These, according to him, include centrally coordinated blood transfusion service, collection of blood exclusively from voluntary donors, testing of all blood for compatibility and transfusion-transmissible infections, and reduction of unnecessary transfusions.
Abayomi added that LSBTS will continue to train health workers involved in blood transfusion chain on safe and good clinical transfusion practices stressing that the agency has over the years, trained health workers on documentation, quality assessment and rational use of blood and blood products to reduce unnecessary transfusions and minimize the risks associated with transfusion.
“LSBTS, governed by the national blood policy and the Lagos State legislation, promotes uniform implementation of standards and consistency in the quality and safety of blood and blood products”, Abayomi stated.
Speaking in the same vein, a Consultant Haematologist and Blood Transfusion Specialist, Dr. C.O Muyiwa urged health workers to properly utilize blood component and also avoid unnecessary and inappropriate blood transfusion.
She averred that transfusion services must always be in tune with standard operating procedures and protocols in order to ensure safety in the blood transfusion chain.
Participants at the virtual training included core Medical workers in private and public health facilities, medical laboratory scientists, phlebotomist, operators of private blood banks, donor drive organizers and regulatory agencies.