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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


SANTOVENIA, José M. Ballester. The Transfusion Medicine Program in Cuba. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2003, vol.13, n.2-3, pp.160-164. ISSN 1680-5348.

Cuba's Transfusion Medicine Program (TMP) is a subsystem of the country's National Health System. The TMP's objective is to ensure hemotherapy with blood that is safe and sufficient for all the individuals who need it. The TMP subsystem is made up of the National Commission on Transfusion Medicine, the Institute of Hematology and Immunology, 37 clinical services, 44 blood banks, 120 collection centers, 19 mobile units, and 37 blood certification laboratories. Additional facilities include a laboratory for plasma separation, a laboratory that produces leukocyte interferon and transfer factor, and two laboratories that produce reagents for blood classification and blood diagnosis systems. In Cuba, blood donation is voluntary. Since 1997 approximately 5% of the population per year has donated blood, thus meeting the goal recommended by the Pan American Health Organization of one voluntary blood donation annually for every 20 persons. During 2002, 563 204 blood donations were received, and there were 445 898 transfusions of blood or blood components. All donations are individually screened for HIV 1 and 2, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and syphilis, thus meeting the country's current regulations. In 2002 these screening measures led to discarding, respectively, 0.12%, 0.60%, 0.71%, and 1.8% of the blood donations. Although the prevalence of human T-cell lymphotropic virus I and II in Cuba is very low, this test will soon be added to the screening process.

Keywords : medicina transfusional; Cuba.

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