First European Haemovigilance Conference in Ireland opens in Dublin Castle today (Tuesday)

National Haemovigilance Office 2005 Annual Report launched

The 9th European Haemovigilance Network Conference is being hosted for the first time in Ireland by the Irish Blood Transfusion Service today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday).

Almost 300 delegates from around the world are participating in the 2 day conference covering issues as diverse as appropriate blood usage, education initiatives and the implementation of the EU Directives on blood quality and safety.

As a result of the EU Directives, reporting of serious reactions which may be attributed to the quality and safety of blood components has become mandatory as have serious adverse events relating to the testing, storage and distribution of blood and blood components.

This basically puts a reporting system that was previously voluntary across Europe on a mandatory footing and the implementation of these directives is the main theme for this conference, said Andrew Kelly, Chief Executive, Irish Blood Transfusion Service.

The National Haemovigilance Office 2005 Annual Report showed that the Incorrect Blood Component Transfused was the highest category of serious adverse event reported.  Also of note for 2005 are the numbers of unnecessary transfusions reported compared to previous years.  We believe this reflects increased awareness and reporting rather than a real increase but focuses attention on the need to audit clinic transfusion practice, said Dr Emer Lawlor, Director, National Haemovigilance Office and Congress President.


For further information contact Mirenda ODonovan

Note to Editors

The purpose of the European Heamovigilance Network (EHN) is to develop and maintain a common structure with regard to safety of blood and blood products and haemovigilance in blood transfusion and transfusion medicine in Europe

The EHN was established in 1998 to favour exchange of valid information between the members of the Network, to increase rapid alert / early warning between the members of the Network, to encourage joint activities between the members of the Network and to undertake educational activities in relation to haemovigilance.
The EHN has 21 members.  The Irish Blood Transfusion Service has been a member of the EHN since 2002.