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Encyclopedia > Australian Red Cross Blood Service

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) is a branch of the Australian Red Cross. It is the body primarily responsible for blood donation and related services in Australia. The Australian Red Cross was established in 1914, two days after the commencement of World War I, by Lady Helen Munro-Ferguson, the wife of the Governor-General Ronald Munro-Ferguson, when she formed a branch of the British Red Cross. ... Blood donation is a process by which a blood donor voluntarily has blood drawn for storage in a blood bank or for subsequent use in a blood transfusion. ...



Initially, the Red Cross's Australian blood services were managed by state-level organisations. Victoria's Blood Transfusion Service was founded in 1929, and by 1941 each state had its own Blood Transfusion Service. Also in 1941, the National Emergency Blood Transfusion Service (later the National Blood Transfusion Committee) was formed to coordinate the state groups. In 1945, the Red Cross took over blood and serum preparation units established by the Australian Army. Emblems: {{{Emblems}}} Motto: Peace and Prosperity Slogan or Nickname: Garden State, The Place To Be, On The Move Other Australian states and territories Capital Melbourne Government Governor Premier Const. ... 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Australian Army Emblem The Australian Army is Australias military land force. ...

In 1995, a government report recommended the foundation of a separate national structure, and the ARCBS was formed in 1996, encompassing the old state and territory blood donation/transfusion services.

Relationship with CSL

ARCBS and its predecessors had a long-standing relationship with the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL), a government medical body founded in 1916. The Red Cross supplied CSL with donated blood for use in research and manufacture of medical products (e.g. serum for transfusion). CSL Limited is an Australian-based manufacturer of medical products. ...

In 1994, CSL was privatised, becoming CSL Limited. The ARCBS continued to supply CSL with donated blood. This caused a major public-relations crisis for the ARCBS when it became known that blood donated for public benefit, without payment, was being used by a private industry for financial gain.

Infectious diseases

Blood donated in Australia has been tested for Hepatitis B since 1972, HIV-1 since 1985, Hepatitis C since 1990, HIV-2 since 1992/3, and HTLV-1 since 1993. Originally known as serum hepatitis, hepatitis B has only been recognized as such since World War II, and has caused current epidemics in parts of Asia and Africa. ... Human immunodeficiency virus (commonly known as HIV, and formerly known as HTLV-III and lymphadenopathy-associated virus) is a retrovirus that primarily infects vital components of the human immune system such as CD4+ T cells, macrophages and dendritic cells. ... Hepatitis C is a blood-borne viral disease which can cause liver inflammation, fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer. ... Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) is a human, single-stranded RNA retrovirus that causes T-cell leukemia and T-cell lymphoma in adults and may also be involved in certain demyelinating diseases. ...

As with other blood transfusion services, the ARCBS has had to strike a balance between protecting blood recipients against infection, and accepting enough donors to maintain an adequate supply of blood. This has led to debate over which categories of potential donors should be excluded. For instance, to reduce the risk of HIV entering the blood supply, the ARCBS permanently banned men who had had male-male sex at any time since 1980 from donating blood; this restriction was subsequently eased, to exclude only those men who had had male-male sex in the last twelve months. To protect against CJD, the ARCBS now refuses donations from anybody who lived in the United Kingdom for a total of six months or more between 1980 and 1996. CJD can mean: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease chronological Julian day This page concerning a three-letter acronym or abbreviation is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

In 2003, a federal government report found that despite the introduction of Hepatitis C screening from February 1990, infected donors were told to keep donating until July of that same year; a total of 20,000 people were estimated to have been infected with Hepatitis C via blood products. Some infected blood was given to CSL and may have been used in thousands of CSL products, although it has not been shown that any of these products caused infection in the recipients. [1].

External links

  • ARCBS website
  • Tainted Blood Product Action Group



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