The Division of Transfusion Medicine was established in 2006 as a division within the Department of Medicine. The blood bank and Blood Donor Program were originally services within the Department of Laboratory Medicine. As part of the Department of Medicine, the program operates with an enhanced orientation toward clinical problem solving and teaching. It provides consultative, therapeutic and laboratory services in blood banking, blood donation, immunohematology, peripheral blood abnormalities, hemostasis and hematotherapy. The core facilities through which the Division operates are the hospital blood bank and the Blood Donor Center.
The Division adheres to a philosophy that considers blood banking and transfusion services to be fundamental disciplines for solving clinical problems and assuring patient safety, rather than simply tools for managing the inventory of blood products in a hospital. Thus at all levels in our program, physician and allied health professionals focus on the clinical correlates and individual patient issues that underlie activities in the laboratory.
Core services include:
- Blood bank services and immunohematology testing
- Blood donation services
- Peripheral blood stem cell collection for marrow transplantation
- Therapeutic phlebotomy services
- Therapeutic apheresis services
- Consultative services for patients with blood disorders
Areas of special expertise include:
- Provision of routine and specialized products for transfusion
- Evaluation and management of transfusion reactions
- Evaluation and management of failure to respond to blood product transfusion
- Therapeutic apheresis
- Treatment of iron overload and polycythemia
- Clinical consultations for anemias and other abnormalities of the blood counts
- Clinical consultations for blood clotting disorders
Congratulations to the staff of the Blood Donor Center for becoming certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists – a major feat since no other major apheresis program in the country has a staff 100 percent certified. The eight nurses and one technician passed the national certification examination in apheresis, a process in which the blood of a donor or patient is passed through an apparatus that separates out one particular constituent and returns the remainder to circulation. According to Robert Weinstein, MD, chief, Division of Transfusion Medicine, "This is emblematic of the emergence of our program to national prominence."