Feedback Regarding WCBS’ New Blood Irradiators

You may know that Western Cape Blood Service has recently commissioned two new X-ray blood irradiators at the Groote Schuur and Tygerberg Blood Banks. Irradiated blood products are available on request, on a 24/7/365 basis. If you need irradiated blood products anywhere in the Western Cape, please ask your nearest Blood Bank and leave it to us to handle the logistical planning so that you receive the products timeously.

The clinical indications for the use of irradiated blood products are as follows:

  • Blood components donated by blood relatives
  • Intrauterine transfusion (IUT)
  • Exchange transfusion (ET) following IUT
  • Recommended for all ETs, provided this does not unduly delay the ET
  • Platelets transfused in utero for alloimmune thrombocytopenia (Red cells and platelets transfused up to 6 months after the expected date of delivery should also be irradiated)
  • Lymphocyte immunodeficiency syndromes
  • All recipients of allogeneic haemopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) – from time of initiation of conditioning regimen (This should continue while the patient is on GvHD prophylaxis or lymphocytes are >1 x 109/l)
  • Patients undergoing autologous stem cell harvesting – until there is evidence of haematopoietic engraftment and lymphoid reconstitution
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Treatment with purine analogues (fludarabine, cladribine, deoxycoformycin)
  • Antithymocyte globulin (ATG) for severe aplastic anaemia

The Gammacell (Cesium-based) blood irradiator at Red Cross Blood Bank is currently still in use but will be decommissioned in due course.

Please feel free to contact your nearest Blood Bank for more information.


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