About Blood Services Group (BSG)
The Blood Services Group (BSG) of the Health Sciences Authority is responsible for collecting, processing and distributing blood and blood components to all public and private hospitals in Singapore.
Our objectives/goals are:
- to provide a safe and efficient transfusion service which is based on voluntary blood donations.
- to maintain the highest standards of care for patients and donors in all aspects of blood banking and transfusion medicine.
- to uphold and promote the highest standards of practice of transfusion medicine.
- to use all resources available to enhance staff development to achieve quality and excellence in the services offered.
- to use all technology available to achieve the optimal quality of blood and blood products supplied for patient care at an affordable cost to the community.
Blood collection was introduced to Singapore on a large scale in 1940 because of the threat of the Second World War in the Pacific. The former civilian Singapore Blood Transfusion Service was established in 1946 after the end of the war.
As an indication of the growth of the blood bank, 287 donations were received from voluntary blood donors in its first year of operation. This has increased to about 120,000 units of blood annually.
Some of the many milestones of the blood banking history include:
- The introduction in the 1960s of disposable plastic blood collection and administration sets that enabled the blood bank to keep pace with technological advances in the storage of blood and blood products.
- The introduction of screening of all blood donations for Hepatitis B surface antigen in 1973.
- A frozen blood programme for rare blood types in 1978.
- Activating emergency blood collection in the Spyros Disaster (1978) and Hotel New World Disaster (1986).
- Introducing emergency blood collection exercises with Singapore Joint Civil Defence Force since 1986.
- The introduction of HIV antibody screening of all donated blood in 1985.
- Opening of the new National Blood Centre building in 1988.
- Designation as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Transfusion Medicine in 1992.
- The introduction of Hepatitis C antibody screening to all blood donations in 1992.
- On 1 April 2001, when the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) was established, the Singapore Blood Transfusion Service was renamed as the Centre for Transfusion Medicine (CTM), one of the 8 professional centres of HSA.
- The blood donation suite in the current HSA building, located at 11 Outram Road, is now known as the Bloodbank@HSA.
- CTM was awarded "Certified On-The-Job Training Centre" (COJTC) status by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) in December 2005. With this certification, our OJT training program will now lead to nationally recognised skills certification for our laboratory staff and donor aides.
- The Blood Donor Club was launched on 18th Feb 2006 to grant recognition and show our appreciation to blood donors in Singapore.
- Our new state-of-the-art Cell Processing Laboratory was opened in April 2006. This new facility will be a great boost for research in the area of immuno-therapy and stem cells, as well as the development of new cellular products.
- CTM conferred full AABB membership status in May 2006, joining the most prestigious organisation of international blood banks in the scientific community.
- 2006 also marked the 60th Anniversary of our National Blood Transfusion Programme. World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) on 14th June 2006 was celebrated with special aplomb this year as we commemorated both the 60th Anniversary of the Blood Transfusion Programme and the 5th Anniversary of our fruitful partnership with the Singapore Red Cross.
- From 1st Aug 2008, the Health Services Group has been restructured and renamed the Blood Services Group (BSG) HSA, comprising the Blood Supply Division and Patient Services Division. This restructuring is a streamlining process for the Group to function as a consolidated entity in place of the former Centre structures.
- The Tissue Typing Laboratory of BSG was conferred American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetic (ASHI) membership status on 1st Sep 2008.
Collaboration with WHO
In 1992, in recognition of its high standards and quality, the former Singapore Blood Transfusion Service was appointed a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Blood Centre for Transfusion Medicine for the Western Pacific Region.
The Blood Services Group (BSG), HSA proudly carries on this responsibility of contributing to improving the standards and practice of Transfusion Medicine in the Western Pacific Region.
As a WHO Collaborating Centre, BSG has an important role to play in assisting WHO with promoting blood safety and quality. The terms of reference are as follows:
- To act as a reference centre for immunohaematology and tissue typing in transfusion medicine in the Region;
- To conduct research on upgrading blood-bank techniques including blood processing, storage of rare blood types, autologous blood transfusion, etc;
- To improve blood screening tests for infectious agents;
- To provide a training programme for blood transfusion services within the region;
- To provide clinical and technical advice for blood transfusion services within the region, particularly in relation to supply of safe blood and blood products.
The visiting AABB Audit Team successfully conducted the AABB Audit at BSG on 8th & 9th Feb 2006. The AABB Auditors (lead assessors: Miss Linda Sigg and Miss Karen Fong) were satisfied that our practices met the high standards of the AABB committee.
With the successful completion of our AABB audit, BSG was conferred full AABB membership status in May 2006. With the award of AABB membership, BSG proudly gains membership to the most respected and exclusive organisation of international blood banks in the scientific community.