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Hospital Healthcare Europe

Automation transforming blood banking, says report

1 May, 2008  

A report by a consultancy firm has suggested that the way blood is collected in Europe is changing.

The traditional way of collecting blood is through blood bags and their integrated accessories. However, automated alternatives such as apheresis and autologous devices and disposables are steadily gaining in use, it is claimed.

The transition is expected to be gradual, with suggestions that manual devices will maintain their prominence for the next ten years.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, found that this market earned revenues of $422.6 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach $428.3 million in 2013.

“In order to respond to the growing concerns related to health and safety issues in blood and blood-derived products, the blood banking devices market is continuously launching innovative technology,” said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst, Kieu Vuong.

“The transition from manual to automated devices is poised to transform the entire landscape and growth pattern of the blood banking devices industry.”

The report concluded that sales of automated blood banking devices are growing at the expense of manual collection devices. This was projected to lead to a slight overall growth of the blood banking devices markets.

At the same time, the strong performance of biotech and pharmaceutical markets is predicted to spur the blood banking industry. The high number of cases that require blood or blood-derived products for therapeutic use will help maintain a steady demand for blood banking devices, it is estimated.

Frost & Sullivan

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“I believe it will be quite impossible to fulfill this unless you can create some kind of transgenic elephant producing human blood. Donors are not willing to undergo aphaeresis procedures and, in any case, aphaeresis requires manual phlebotomy which is one of the main causes of blood contamination nowadays. Besides, multi-component aphaeresis such as red blood cell plasma is worse than blood collection since it is more expensive, requires 3-4 times the time and fails to recover the buffy coat that is needed to produce platelets pool. It will be impossible to collect platelets enough for all cancer patients using machines only.” – Liliana Calosso, Italy

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