Transfusion medicine (or transfusiology) is the branch of medicine that is concerned with the transfusion of blood and blood components. The blood bank is the section of the clinical laboratory where medical technologists process and distribute blood products under the supervision of a medical director, often certified in Pathology or Transfusion Medicine
Transfusion Medicine is a discipline that deals with -
- Blood product selection and management,
- Apheresis- Platelet apheresis , Cytapheresis, Plasma pheresis
- Therapeutic Plasma Exchange
- ABO incompatible Organ transplants
- Stem cell collection
- Cellular therapy and coagulation.
The Transfusion medicine specialists are often considered a consultant for physicians who require expertise advice on the subjects listed above.
Blood transfusion is a medical therapy that can be life-saving. As with any treatment, however, transfusion of blood or blood components must be ordered and administered safely and appropriately. Transfusion is more than a single discrete event—it is a process. The transfusion chain begins with donor considerations (whether their donation is safe for them to make and whether the donation is safe for any patient to receive). Once blood is collected, the safety of the blood product is a focus of activity (infectious disease testing, compatibility testing, necessary modifications such as irradiation or leukocyte reduction). The endpoint of the transfusion process involves recipient considerations (proper identification of the unit and the patient, appropriateness of blood as the best treatment modality, administration of the unit, evaluation of the recipient).
Now a days Transfusion medicine is not limited to blood banking - it has now extended to diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for various conditions of the patients.
- Solving various grouping discrepancies and incompatibility in cross matching
- Antibody screening and identification
- Therapeutic role in antibody mediated anemia and various other diseases via Plasma Exchange
- Therapeutic role in fetal jaundice and neonatal jaundice via Exchange transfusion
- Stem cell therapies via Stem cell apheresis
Transfusion medicine is a discipline in its emerging stage - ‘A way long to ahead’