Transfusion Medicine Services
The Heart and Blood of the Laboratory:
Transfusion Medicine Services (TMS) includes the Donor Center with Apheresis Unit, Component Processing, and the Transfusion Service. Unlike other areas of the laboratory, TMS offers also therapeutic services in the form of therapeutic apheresis (plateletpheresis, plasma exchange, and red cell exchange) and therapeutic phlebotomy.
This section is one of only a very few institutions in the Kingdom which is accredited both by the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP). It has maintained these high standards for over twenty years.
There is no centralized blood bank in Riyadh so TMS must be self-sufficient for the entire Project’s blood and blood components’ needs. Thus, it has an active donor center, which recruits blood donors from the local population and hospital staff and draws whole blood units and donor plateletpheresis units. Most of the units are drawn on site; however, there are off-site campaigns to various military units as well as at the Janadriya festival.
All donors for whole blood and platelets are tested for evidence of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, HTLV, and syphilis.
Recently the blood bank began to test for bacterial contamination in platelet components. We will shortly start nucleic acid testing for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C viruses to minimize the risk of disease transmission.
The Donor Center also offers a rare donor registry of repeat local donors who volunteer to come on demand to provide their precious blood to meet the need the special needs of chronically transfused patients, e.g. with sickle cell anemia or thalassemia.