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Transport Of Blood And Blood Products

Published 14 Jun 2021

Transport Of Blood And Blood Products

Transport Of Blood And Blood Products


"Blood is a very special juice." Goethe already wrote this in his "Faust". Blood reserves and blood products are still indispensable after serious accidents, during major operations or for the treatment of certain diseases.


In order to maintain the blood and plasma supply even during the pandemic and with the resurgence of travel, the commitment of all those who are able to do so is required. For only if enough people agree to donate can necessary blood transfusions be ensured. "Therefore, donate blood and plasma and above all, donate regularly!"


14 June 2021 Is World Blood Donor Day


14 June refers to the birthday of Austrian pathologist and serologist Karl Landsteiner (1868-1943), who discovered the AB0 system of blood groups in 1901 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1930 for his significant medical research in this field.


Since 2012, the initiators have chosen an annually changing, leitmotif motto for 14 June on the occasion of World Blood Donor Day. This year's World Blood Donor Day has the motto "Give blood and keep the world beating" to raise awareness of the need for blood and blood products, even in times of pandemics. Especially in the context of the spread of the coronavirus and the associated concern about infections, blood donations have become even more important.


How Are Blood And Blood Products Transported?


Absolute care and hygiene are the prerequisites for safe blood transport. This applies equally to blood reserves, blood preparations and other sensitive products and samples.


Just as with the production, storage and transfusion of blood products, the highest quality standards must also be observed when transporting blood. With the necessary care and appropriately equipped transport vehicles, it must be ensured that blood products reach their destination safely in compliance with the legal requirements and guidelines.


The basic care of customers is provided by the blood transfusion service itself, and emergency care is provided by the blood transport service. From erythrocyte concentrate (EC) to coagulation-active plasma (GAP) and platelet concentrate (TK), blood transport delivers blood products to hospitals, medical care centres and doctors' practices. A not inconsiderable percentage of these emergency supplies are so urgent that the journeys are made using special rights, i.e. with blue lights and horn.


Of course, there are many such transport services that deliver to more distant areas if the required blood unit is not in stock. Drivers must be trained in the legal requirements for packaging and transporting medical and potentially infectious material.


Temperature Conditions During Transport


The cycle of a blood bag from donor to recipient is complex. The storage and transport temperature of blood bags and blood products is an important factor to control. In most cases, the weak link in maintaining the cold chain is the transport from the blood bank to the hospital. This weak point is completely eliminated by the transport service by consistently adhering to all temperature specifications and logging them.


Blood products are sensitive and must therefore be stored and transported at a constant temperature. Temperature-controlled transport guarantees that these products reach their destination safely. All blood transport vehicles must have an active transport cooling solution. The cooling process of the preparations to be transported must be precisely recorded during the entire journey and must be visible at all times.


Blood Product

Transport Packaging


Platelet concentrates (TC's)

in polystyrene containers or insulated bags at room temperature (not refrigerated!!!)

at +20°C to +24°C

Erythrocyte concentrates (EC's)

in pre-cooled cooling bags with 4°C pre-cooled cooling packs

at +2°C to +6°C

Frozen fresh plasma (GFP's)

in precooled cooling bags fitted with frozen cold packs

at a minimum of -22°C

Coagulable fresh plasma for transfusion (thawed)

in styrofoam containers (in individual cases 37°C temperature-controlled accumulators are enclosed)

at room temperature

Diagnostic samples

according to ADR 3373

according to ADR 3373

During transport, the driver checks the temperature via screens in the cockpit. At the end of the transport, a printout of this data is made and handed over together with the blood products in the laboratory. This alone is sufficient for a legally and medically sound documentation of the transport. But there are also additional digital systems where transmitted data is stored on the server for five years. In this way, it is possible to determine retrospectively exactly when, where and at what temperature a transported blood product

Drones In Healthcare And Medical Sector


Innovation and technology keep improving healthcare and the medical sector in general. However, drones will revolutionize different medical aspects and applications.


Transportation of biological specimens is currently done by any type of transport (plane, train, car, bicycle) in high and low resourced countries. The majority of the specimens are collected in physician offices, laboratories and clinics. But in many countries, there are far fewer labs which means that they are very far from the patient and it sometimes takes more than eight hours to reach the closest one.


This transporting time is affected by either traffic or infrastructure; cost is another issue. The main benefit of the drone’s (specimens or drugs) delivery system is that it can be used in any place, any time: it would work as well in Stockholm, Buenos Aires, Philippines or Cape Town. The cost of this system would obviously be affected by the number of samples to transport. It would first be used exclusively for certain types of emergencies. The purpose of this system is indeed not to use drones in all cases, but to use the right vector at the right place.