Saturday 26 May 2018

Anaemia fears as 90,000 regular blood donors are contacted by IBTS

The IBTS said it had already sent out the first batch of letters
The IBTS said it had already sent out the first batch of letters

David Kearns

Some 90,000 regular donors are to be contacted by the Irish Blood Transfusion Service advising them to visit their doctor if they have been experiencing symptoms of anaemia.

The IBTS confirmed last November that testing equipment used by the service since July 2014 was defective, meaning tests aim at detecting low haemoglobin levels in donors were faulty.

Such donors are at risk of developing anaemia as a result of donating blood, said an IBTS spokesperson.

Already thousands of letters have been set out to donors advising them to contact their GP if they feel unwell.

The IBTS confirmed last November that its testing equipment used from July 2014 to November 2015 was faulty.

The issue lay with a subset of donors, predominantly women, whose tests failed to register them as suffering from iron-deficiency anaemia.

These women continued to donate despite, in some cases, having severely low levels of iron in their blood.

The IBTS said any medical costs involved with concerned donors visiting their doctors would be covered by the blood transfusion service .

A helpline has been setup and extra staff have been assigned to field calls from donors, a spokesperson said.

Anyone who has concerns and who donated blood between July 2014 and November 2015 is encouraged to use the helpline on 1850 731 137.

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