Following a European directive calling for improved quality, safety and coordination between blood donation facilities, the health ministry is beginning an overhaul of the system with the introduction of a central blood unit.
Beginning soon, the blood centre will begin coordinating with Famagusta general hospital’s blood bank with regard to donations, processing, quality control and screening for infections.
According to the ministry, starting in a couple of months until the end of September, the centre is expected to update the coordination process in all the other blood banks before finally assuming responsibility for all donations throughout the island.
The government believes the changes will safeguard the quality and safety of donated blood, bringing it up to ISO 9001 standard.
A number of incidents were reported in the past where blood supplies were lower over holiday periods, or where the wrong blood type was sent to surgeries for operations.
The original deadline for implementation of the changes to the system was the end of last year but the European Commission gave Cyprus an extension until February 9.
Cyprus needs more than 70,000 units of blood per year, corresponding to approximately 300 donors per day. Cypriot citizens have demonstrated their social sensitivity to blood issues, placing the island in first position among EU peers, in donors per population.
All involved are expected to embrace this effort, contributing to the efficiency and the quality of blood in the country.