The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi has tasked all health workers and stakeholders in the blood transfusion chain on the need to strictly adhere to safe blood transfusion practices and ensure patient safety in procedures.

Abayomi gave the advice over the weekend during a virtual workshop on Safe Blood Transfusion Practices organised by the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS) for healthcare professionals in private and public health facilities.

The Commissioner, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, LSBTS, Dr. Bodunrin Oshikomaiya, noted that a wide range of errors which may occur at various stages and process of transfusion must be avoided in view of the need for patient safety and wellbeing in transfusion services.

He said, “Blood safety and patient safety in transfusion service is a topic that cannot be overemphasised, which 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”.

“We initiated this training as a capacity-building mechanism for all cadres of health professionals involved in blood transfusion chain to recognise and prevent errors in blood transfusion process and ensure that only safe blood is made available for transfusion in our health facilities”, Abayomi said.

He explained that safe blood transfusion practices involve all activities in the blood donation chain: blood collection from low-risk, regular, voluntary unpaid donors as well as testing, processing, storage and distribution of blood to actual transfusion.

Revealing that LSBTS is focusing on four key areas to achieve safe blood transfusion services, Prof. Abayomi said they include centrally coordinated blood transfusion service, collection of blood exclusively from voluntary donors, testing of all blood for compatibility and transfusion-transmissible infections, as well as reduction of unnecessary transfusions.

The Commissioner added that LSBTS will continue to train health workers involved in the 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 minimise 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 utilise 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 organisers and regulatory agencies.

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