The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) has discarded the new machine that was designed to filter out CJD from donated blood after having spent €14m on the filter system last year.
IBTS seems to be finding the maintenance of bloodstocks a difficult challenge although there was a slight increase in the number of donations. According to their annual report for 2005, the number of donations increased by 1.4% last year, compared to 2004. However IBTS experienced their first severe shortage because more blood was being issued to hospitals last year resulting in hospitals halting operations for three days.
The report also stated that trials on the CJD filter system were discontinued amid fears of its inadequate working and that CJD could still be passed through blood donations.
It has been estimated that three thousand units of blood are needed required every week in Ireland, yet only 3% of the population donate blood.
IBTS says that the demand for blood still continues to increase. In the first six months of this year, the amount of red cells issued to hospitals has increased by 1.2% and the amount of platelets increased by 8.9%.
IBTS chairperson, Maura McGrath said, "Being a blood donor is very special. The contribution, which donors make to the health service in this country, is incalculable. I wish to acknowledge this generosity and thank them."