After being forced to take speedy action last year to stave off an impending shortage of blood products, the Thai Red Cross Society made a momentous decision, expediting plans to set up a plasma fractionation plant here. It will be the first of its kind in all of Southeast Asia.
The National Blood Centre is the Red Cross division responsible for ensuring that healthcare providers nationwide have sufficient supplies of red blood cells, platelets and plasma, the three components into which blood donations are separated.
Using a procedure called fractionation, plasma is further processed to produce three derivatives which are vital for treating several chronic diseases. The National Blood Centre has been making these plasma-derived products since 1979, but it has long encountered difficulties in meeting local demand. To make up the shortfall, it has had to import supplies from other countries.
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