Welcome to Pet Blood Bank!
This course is designed to give you a background into Pet Blood Bank and how we work. First, a little about how we started.
Pet Blood Bank – How we started
- The need for easy access to blood was recognised by Vets Now staff, who as an emergency service saw a higher percentage of cases that may require blood products. A project was set up to allow the Vets Now clinics to screen several cats and dogs to allow them to be called upon in an emergency. However, with donors not always available at night or weekends, it wasn’t a reliable service
- In October 2005 a change to The Veterinary Medicines Act made it possible for vets to store blood. Click on the link and scroll down to Part 3 for full details of the legislative change.
- In January 2006 Vets Now started a research project led by Wendy Barnett to investigate setting up a blood bank for Vets Now
- The research involved Wendy, visiting blood banks in America, where pet blood banking had been common place since 1988, to investigate blood banking
- A range of organisations were visited from companies, referral hospitals and universities all operating a blood bank. These organisations are either:
- Commercial – where the company make a profit from selling the blood products
- Not for Profit (Charity) – where any profit made is reinvested into the charity
- Colony – where dogs are kept in groups (i.e. closed colonies) for the purpose of being blood donors.
- Voluntary Scheme – where dogs are pets and provided by veterinary staff members, students or general public
- Wendy also visited the voluntary donor programme at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and liased with the Veterinary Medicines Directoriate (VMD) to ensure we could meet the requirements to obtain a license to operate a blood bank. Wendy also received advice and support from the National Blood service
- The proposition to Vets Now after Wendy had completed the research was that a blood bank should be set up as a not for profit (charity) running a voluntary scheme, where pet owners are invited to enrol their dogs as blood donors. This charity would supply the whole of the UK veterinary profession rather than just Vets Now clinics. Market research confirmed the UK public would prefer to support a charity rather than a commercial organisation
- A pilot project was run in the North East by Jenny Walton with the knowledge and equipment Wendy had brought back from America, where pet owned dogs were invited to donate blood at Durham Vets 4 Pets. This pilot project helped us gain valuable insight in how best to run a collection session and also proved the need for a blood bank service in the UK as Jenny then used the blood components on her patients at Vets Now Gateshead clinic
- Pet Blood Bank UK was launched at Crufts 2007 to the pet owning public and at BSAVA 2007 to the veterinary profession
- Vets Now provided a loan to set up and establish the charity (which was paid back over a number of years)
- Pet Blood Bank is completely independent of Vets Now, however they still work closely together to advance transfusion medicine
To find out more about the PBB journey since 2007 visit PBB website and check out “Our Journey”