The Bombay unit of the Indian Red Cross Society is a unique humanitarian organization that has played a pivotal role in providing blood transfusion services to this metropolis. lt was the first Non Government Organization, to start a voluntary blood bank in the city. The Blood Center was established in 1997 and today it is one of the leading blood centers in the city adhering to ethics and values and is professionally managed. lt has the state of the art equipment and infrastructure, trained and skilled staff with a well maintained laboratory and computerized database. "Voluntary blood donation is the key to safe blood supply", - based on this principal the center collects blood only from voluntary donors, in the blood bank and at outdoor camps. The relatives of the patients do not donate as replacement for the blood used for their patients. The center has been committed to achieve international standards through continuous improvement in quality. The center complies with all norms set up by the regulatory authorities and is in the process of getting accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers.

Blood donation Camp in progress while the Bombay City Red Cross does not have a monopoly in the blood transfusion services like in other countries, it certainly is a source of safe blood supply in the city. Over the years this Blood Center has translated its vision into\ organizing a center of excellence conducting training and assessment of quality of other blood banks as well. The Red Cross Blood Centre is one of the largest voluntary, non-replacement blood transfusion services in the city, collecting over 13,000 units per annum. With a focus on patient safety, all donated blood undergoes comprehensive testing and is separated into blood components to optimize the use of blood and therefore from one unit of blood 3-4 patients are benefiting.

Advanced Red Cell Laboratory

Apart from the usual ABO and Rh system of groups there are number of bloodgroups of the Rh system as well as the other rare blood group systems like dufly, kell, lewis, MNS etc. Patients who require multiple transfusions get exposed to the various antigens and at times develop antibodies to these rare antigens. Therefore, it is very essential that patients with blood disorders like thalassaemiaand cancers like leukemia are given blood which is phenol typed for the rare blood groups so that they do not develop antibodies and The center supplies blood to all in need wherever, whenever required besides to the nine storage centers under its care. It operates on the principle of not-for-prot, and issues almost 35% of the blood collected, either free or at concessional rates to the poor. Free blood is supplied to the patients suffering from Thalassaemia Major who are registered at our day care centre and other genetic disorders as well as patients undergoing dialysis. The rest of the blood is supplied on a cost-to-cost basis to nursing homes and private hospitals. The high incidence of thalassaemia in India prompted the Indian Red Cross Society Blood Centre to get involved in the cause and take care of these unfortunate patients. Realizing the need it has taken on the obligation to run a day care center for treating thalassaemiapatients. Today, Red Cross Blood Center has 60 patients under its protective wing. These patients' age varies from five to forty five years, as a result of significant role played by the center in increasing the average life span of these patients. Keeping in mindthe need for safe blood, the center collects blood only from voluntary donors and after rigorous testing transfuses the required amount to these patients. Regular Monitoring of laboratory parameters, clinical follow up and counseling facilities are also provided free to all patients. Patients at thethalassaemia day care Centre this in turn means to being a life saving measure. At times, when the patients develop antibodies it becomes very essential to identify these antibodies, the Blood Centre helps all such patients of the city who have developed the antibodies and provides them with the right type of blood.

Quality Assurance 4 the Blood Centre has been trained by the Australian Red Cross in the quality management systems and therefore the Centre carries out its processes and procedures in a quality assured manner.External Quality Assurance program (EQAS) The Blood Centre has been trained by the National Reference Laboratory in Australia, which is an EQAS provider for the Tl'l in whole of Asia Paci?c region, and is lLAC recognized. Today, the IRCS Blood Centre participates in this International program and at the same time it provides the same for about 90 blood centers of the country. ln the process the IRCS, Blood Centre not only monitors but also guides these participants on quality of the testing in their labs. Training Programs the Blood Centre conducts training program for the technicians as well as doctors from time to time.

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