MINISTER of State at the Department of Health Kathleen Lynch has launched the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS ) service to haemochromatosis patients in Munster.
BTS has been providing a service for haemochromatosis patients since 2007 when a dedicated service was opened at the Stillorgan clinic in Dublin. This clinic has reached capacity and is treating about 650 patients in total. In 2013 there were 1205 phlebotomies which yielded 967 productive donations.
Last August a general access service for patients was established at the IBTS D’Olier Street fixed centre clinic, for the first time providing a service to patients who are not eligible to be blood donors, as well as for those who could donate.
“Since opening 148 patients have attended, 131 have been treated. 80% of these patients have decided to become donors and are now on the regular donor programme,” said Andy Kelly, chief executive of the IBTS.
As part of the roll out of the national programme, the IBTS is establishing a free phlebotomy clinic in Cork at the St Finbarr’s fixed clinic.
“This service is a win-win venture where eligible haemochromatosis patients are pro, vided with a free phlebotomy service and the maintenance of the national blood supply for Irish patients is enhanced by support from these particularly eligible new donors. It also enables Haemochromatosis patients to make their own contribution and become regular blood donors. More details can be found on www.giveblood.ie. IBTS needs to collect almost 140000 donations in 2014 and welcomes the support of all haemochromatosis patients,” Mr Kelly said