New technique to preserve blood

  • Nation
  • Monday, 22 Mar 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry, via the National Blood Bank, has begun implementing a technology to preserve blood reserves for up to 10 years, its minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.

Called the Red Cell Freezing Technology, the new technique puts blood collected through a mixture process with glycerol, which is frozen and kept at -80˚C.

Blood stored using normal techniques could only last for 35 to 42 days, he said, adding that the bank last year purchased two red cell processors at a cost of about RM120,000 each.

“This technique is useful to ensure that the blood bank will have a secure supply of red cells, particularly from rare blood types,” Liow said.

“With a significantly prolonged lifespan, the bank will have greater flexibility in managing the inventory, especially when there is a shortage of blood,” Liow said after launching a blood donation drive yesterday.

Earlier, Liow who launched the Reduce Sugar Consumption Campaign 2010, said Malaysians were consuming drinks which were too sweet.

“The average sugar intake by Malaysians in their drinks amounts to seven teaspoons or 51 gm, already exceeding recommended levels by the World Health Organisation and the Malaysian Diet Guide, which is not more than 50gm or 10% of the daily energy need,” he said.

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