Highlights from the SWG

Project groups

Pan-European Transfusion Research infrAstructure (PETRA) project

The European Blood Alliance has provided funding for a health science data project entitled: ‘Towards a Pan-European Transfusion Research infrAstructure (PETRA).’

This topic was discussed at a conference sponsored by EHA and organized by the SWG on Transfusion. The event was held in September 2022 in Prague.

Research will move forward in Europe with a collaborative approach to the broad research topic: electronic systems and electronic data repositories in transfusion medicine.

Potential benefits

Better electronic systems for use of routine data in blood transfusion would enable:

  • State-of-the-art epidemiological studies
  • Efficient tools for hypothesis generation
  • The development of novel research questions
  • Validation processes for exploratory analyses in datasets (e.g. prediction of blood needs)
  • Studies of benchmarking and implementation projects

The data sets and data systems would also support linkages between blood donors and recipients of blood transfusion (‘vein to vein’ data sets). This would enable:

  • Investigation of the impact of donor or product characteristics in relation to clinical outcomes in transfused recipients
  • Prediction modelling for usage

Pan-European ‘vein-to-vein’ data sets do not exist. However, they are key to improving donation and transfusion practice, and are areas of major research interest internationally. The initial steps to creating them involve a European survey, which is currently in preparation.

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) project

Alongside a planned European guideline, a project group has formed to explore options for AIHA research, starting with an international survey.

This work is linked to an EHA guideline initiative on AIHA and work by the SWG on Red Cells and Iron.

Genotyping project

Early meetings suggest support for a project theme on the uses of genotyping in the matching of donors—an approach which is expanding in blood services.

There are important questions about how genotyping can be used to improve the matching of blood to hematology patients. (For example, in cases where individuals have sickle cell disease.)

Other project group ideas

  • Iron use in acquired anaemia.
  • The use of plasma, including guidelines.

SUPPLY Ig-project

The SWG has contributed to the stakeholder meetings and reports for the SUPPLY project on ‘Strengthening voluntary non-remunerated plasma collection capacity in Europe.’

Demand for immunoglobulins (Ig) in Europe has more than doubled over the past 15 years. As a result, the SUPPLY project Working Package 6 (WP6) is assessing:

  • The appropriate use of Ig
  • Its prioritization in times of crises amongst European Union (EU) member states and the United Kingdom (UK)

The SWG has contributed to the recommendations about the scope of Ig usage across medical specialties and different EU member states. The focus here has been on mitigating and prioritizing strategies in times of crisis, with a particular emphasis on the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report also:

  • Integrates the feedback of stakeholders
  • Offers a roadmap of final recommendations and concrete actions towards appropriate use and prioritization of Ig in times of crisis

The manuscript is currently being drafted.