ABU DHABI, The Department of Health-Abu Dhabi (DOH), in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), launched a frozen red blood cell (RBC) project, which is the first of its kind in the country.

The project aims to create strategic and sustainable blood reserves.

SEHA’s Abu Dhabi Blood Bank, the blood transportation supplier of Abu Dhabi, will implement new technologies to freeze RBCs, extending their validity to 10 years.

The project will support the establishment of strategic blood reserves in blood banks, and will combine the latest advanced technologies and the expertise of skilled specialists to support urgent blood transfer requests, through freezing some 600 RBC units on an annual basis over five years, with 480 units being in Abu Dhabi and 120 in Al Ain.

The traditional validity period of RBCs is relatively short, averaging between 21 and 42 days, affecting their availability for blood transfusions and creating a shortage in the supplies required to meet the growing demand in cases of surgeries, natural disasters, and seasonal or viral challenges.

The process of freezing RBCs begins by adding an antifreeze solution known as “glycerol,” followed by their storage in mechanical freezers at -80 degrees Celsius, giving them a validity period of 10 years.

 

Source: Emirates News Agency