By Estelle Lecoq
The Western Cape Blood Service was established in October 1938, and since then, our main focus is to deliver safe blood and blood products to patients in need throughout the Western Cape. We use only the latest technology and research to ensure donors and recipients’ safety and excel in transfusion medicine science.
In the 1930s, transfusions happened directly from the donor to the recipient; in the 1940s blood was collected in Horlicks milk bottles, and later in 1973, we moved to plastic bottles. Plastic containers were better suited to the separation of components such as platelets and fresh frozen plasma.
You might have noticed that since 2017 we are not using the manual shaker that you have to operate and squeeze during the donation process. We currently use the HemoFlow Blood Collection Monitor and Mixer or just HemoFlow in short. When you donate blood, you will notice the device next to you shaking and beeping once your blood bag is full.
The HemoFlow helps improve the collection efficiency of each blood donation with simplified processes and data management. It is a simple, effective device that monitors blood flow from the donor while automatically agitating the bag, helping the mixing of blood and the anticoagulant (a substance that prevents the blood from clotting). When the draw cycle is complete the blood flow is automatically clamped off and the machine beeps to alert you. If there is a problem with the draw cycle, the Hemoflow automatically detects the issue and sounds an alarm. The device is designed to protect all data during a blood donation in the event of unexpected interruptions and provides busy phlebotomists the support they need.
Using the HemoFlow, you can successfully complete more draws with less technical attendance. It improves efficiency and makes the blood collection process operate smoother by collecting improved accurate readings regarding the weight of the blood bag while the donor donates blood even quicker.
When you donate blood again, make sure to observe the HemaFlow in action.