Our Laboratory Services conduct tests to ensure the safety and quality of the Blood Service’s blood and cell products and to meet various healthcare needs.
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic were reflected in laboratory activities as greater than usual quarterly variations in the number of tests performed. This in turn affected blood donor studies performed to ensure the safety of blood products, as well as the testing services offered to healthcare providers. Despite this, testing was provided throughout the year.
The number of tissue compatibility tests fell slightly on the previous year. Tests on maternity clinic specimens increased along with the increase in birth rate after several years of decline. This coincided with an important milestone: the Blood Service completed 30 years of centralised blood-group antigen testing for pregnant women.
We are continuously developing our workflow processes in order to ensure the efficiency and responsibility of our operations. We began preparations to transfer our key laboratory techniques, such as the pre-processing of blood donor samples and the automation used in infection screening, in the new Vantaa premises to be completed in 2022. We also began a research project to determine the prevalence of hepatitis E among blood donors. This project will help us assess the risk of blood-borne hepatitis E infections.