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NBTS introduces new measures to make blood transfusions safer

first_imgNational Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), which is housed in the compound of the Georgetown Public Hospital, has introduced immuno-haematological testing and Hepatitis B core antigen which will improve the quality of blood offered to patients, especially expectant mothers, who will be able to access safer blood, thanks to these measures.NBTS Director, Dr Pedro LewisPatients, more so pregnant women, stand to receive uncontaminated blood because of the implemented measures, since the “risks of blood infection are always there”; the new tests have significantly lowered the chance of transmitting transfusion diseases, according to NBTS Director, Dr Pedro Lewis.The immuno-haematological tests take advantage of the body’s immune system, in order to fight germs or foreign substances: the immune system produces antibodies which are proteins that can bind to a specific germ or substance, just like a key fits into a specific keyhole. They “catch” the germs or substances, neutralise them, and attract other immune cells.Dr Lewis stated that the new leap in expertise by the NBTS was made possible through ongoing networking involving the Public Health Ministry, the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO), and the Guyana-Argentina collaboration.The NBTS conducts a wide array of tests, including those for HIV I and II (HIVI is the most widespread worldwide and HIV2 is found mostly in western Africa); Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV1 and 2) infections associated with certain rare diseases of T lymphocytes (T-cells); Hepatitis B and C; Chagas Disease; Malaria; Filaria and Rapid Plasma Regain (RPR) used to test for the presence of syphilis.last_img read more