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How do you track your blood donations?

Editor’s note:

Smart medicine is where medical development is going. Information technology, artificial intelligence and big data are playing a greater role in healthcare services, which tend to be increasingly human-centric and hands-on. This series covering various aspects of the health field aims to show what is behind high technology, intelligent system and inventions.

Shot by Jiang Xiaowei. Edited by Sun Chao. Subtitles by Sun Chao and Cai Wenjun.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A screenshot shows the 400 milliliters of a person’s blood donated to the People’s Square collection center on October 1, 2018, transported to the Shanghai Blood Center that night. On October 16, the blood was delivered to Fudan University Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital.

Blood is precious because it cannot be produced. The only way to obtain blood for clinical purposes is through a voluntary donation.

Making blood donation more convenient, efficient and organized is one of Shanghai authorities’ top priorities.

“Our WeChat public account can complete the entire blood donation process, from booking, blood test result to blood tracking, checking donation history records, top donor rewards and demand for blood use,” said Zou Zhengrong, director of the Shanghai Blood Administration Bureau.

When people want to donate blood, they can search for the location of each blood collection site, which includes the address, working hours, and contact details. People who wish to donate platelets can reserve a place, as the process takes about an hour.

They can check their blood test results after the donation, with detailed results for each item. The result is also available while confidentiality is protected for those whose blood is not qualified.

“The highlight, which is the first of its kind in the world, is that donors can see when and where their blood is being transported for clinical purposes,” Zou said. “There is even a road that connects the blood transfusion center to the hospital. It is extremely encouraging for donors who are happy to have their blood used to help a patient.”

How do you track your blood donations?

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The blood administration system

The whole process of collecting, using and transporting blood is monitored and managed by a single system, which displays in real time the quantity of collection at each donation site, the storage of blood in each blood center at the district and city level, blood storage in each hospital and blood deployment between districts and provinces.

“It’s an intelligent system that monitors the entire city’s blood supply,” Zou said. “It can generate an alert for potential blood shortages or forecast potential blood demand based on historical data.

“We can take steps to ensure clinical use. As we can see their storage in the system, the allocation of blood between hospitals will become more reasonable,” he explained.

“The system will also be updated in response to health management and patient demand.

“We are thinking about an evaluation function for each major disease requiring blood transfusion in order to regulate the use of blood and advance medicine.

For example, the system will be able to track each hospital’s blood usage during hip replacement surgery, he added. “Blood transfusion is an important data point in determining the risk and complexity of surgery, as well as the ability of each surgeon.”

“With this information, we can better predict and manage blood allocation and usage,” Zou said.

How do you track your blood donations?

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Employees of the Shanghai Blood Center laboratory perform rare blood tests.

Another critical task for authorities is blood safety, and Shanghai has taken the lead in this area.

“Testing blood donors for viruses and bacteria is more difficult and time-consuming than in hospitals. We must use the strictest pathogen control and inactivation technology to ensure blood safety, because they are healthy people who can be carriers or asymptomatic,” Zhu said. Ziyan, vice director of the Shanghai Blood Center.

In addition to using advanced technology to prevent diseases from being transmitted through blood, local scientists are working with their counterparts in other countries to create a new blood collection machine capable of killing pathogens when collected. of blood.

“Generally, blood center technicians have to open the blood bags to insert the inactivator. There is a risk of pathogen exposure and contamination. The new machine, which has an international patent, can reduce the risk “hu said. “The next step will be to conduct a clinical trial.”

Blood safety is not only a clinical issue, but it also gives people a sense of security. Shanghai is home to the country’s largest rare blood bank, which has identified and stored information on over 1,200 different types of rare blood.

How do you track your blood donations?

Ti Gong

The sampling machine can collect blood and perform pathogen inactivation at the same time.

Most countries like China have similar definitions of rare blood. Blood types with less than one per 1,000 people are classified as “rare blood”, according to Zhu.

“To determine if a donated blood sample is rare, we perform extensive testing. Hospitals will also share information about patients who were identified as having rare blood during primary screening prior to blood transfusion.”

“Blood is complex. There are more than 350 classifications for red blood cells alone. There are only two types of ABO and Rh, which are known to the general public,” Zhu said. “We have also developed two chips capable of identifying more than 120 genetic loci for common rare blood types in a single run.”

“When we find someone with rare blood, we contact them for more personal information. If there is another rare blood holder with a clinical request, they can help each other.

“Because rare blood types are usually genetically inherited, we encourage the person to bring their family here for testing. We will recommend that person to freeze their blood at our center for emergency use,” Zhu said.

“Thawing blood for clinical use only takes one to two hours.”

There is a long delay for the rare blood freezing period. It is 10 years in China while different countries have different rules.

“To detect and collect more rare blood groups, we established the Yangtze River Rare Blood Alliance, which centralizes all rare blood group information in the region into a single database. More than 600 rare blood groups have been identified and recorded within the last two years.

Compared to Han Chinese, minorities and foreigners are more likely to have rare blood.

“If we have information on more holders of the same rare type and more frozen samples, that will be extremely helpful in the event of an accident or medical emergency.”

He said the Shanghai Blood Center has sent or received rare blood from domestic and international blood centers to save patients.

“A large rare blood bank is also a kind of guarantee of public health and safety,” he added. “So, for our own safety, I believe that donating blood is the best way to find rare blood. Everyone who is eligible to donate blood is encouraged to do so not only for others but also for themselves. and their families.”