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Blood Collection Rules Tightened

The government will further tighten the supervision and management of blood collection centers from Saturday to ensure safe and smooth supply, according to a Ministry of Health (MOH) regulation issued on Friday.

The regulation, applicable to 145 blood plasma collection centers across the country, will play an important role in preventing and curbing blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS, the MOH said on its website.

Also, it will better protect donors' health and ensure the safety and quality of the blood plasma.

An underground racket in plasma collection led to many people being infected with HIV in Henan province in the mid-1990s.

The regulation bars areas where prevalence of diseases contracted through blood transfusion is high from setting up such centers. Counties that have voluntary blood donation centers, have also been forbidden from doing so.

Provincial-level health authorities' approval is needed to open a blood collection center, the regulation says. And an area that wants to set up such a center should have the capacity to collect at least 30 tons of plasma a year.

Furthermore, it says, areas where voluntary blood donations fall short of local demand for two years cannot open a new center.

It spells out the corporate responsibility and liabilities for plasma-based product makers commissioned by the MOH in 2006 to set up and operate plasma collection centers, which previously were under the jurisdiction of medical authorities. Those licensed to supply at least five of the 14 types of vaccines under the country's vaccination plan can apply to set up a new center.

Other mandatory requirements such as having qualified technical staff, good sanitation and proper blood-testing equipment also have to be met before seeking approval of the authorities.

People appointed to manage centers will held fully responsible for the safety and quality of the blood collected.

In addition, all blood donors will have to pass a health test before they can donate blood, it says. Also, a person will not be allowed to donate blood within a fortnight of his or her last donation.

(China Daily March 1, 2008)

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