There are currently no acceptable PVC/DEHP-free alternatives available for blood bags intended for red blood cells.
What are the benefits of a PVC-free blood bag?
• Minimised patient exposure to potentially hazardous substances
• A better working environment for both manufacturers and hospital employees.
• Long-term health improvements
• Spin-off effects on other products means less overall exposure
• From a life-cycle perspective, there is less impact on the environment from hazardous substances
• Reduced need to clean smoke from controlled waste combustion, thus decreasing the use of resources and contributions to climate change
• Reduced long-term costs in health care due to a healthier population
• Less costs for handling toxic waste
Why difficult to exchange PVC and DEHP?
The reasons why there are no PVC-free blood bags on the market are several.
- We need to store blood and the red blood cells are stabilized by DEHP causing less hemolysis.
- The blood bag is a complex product with
- The blood bag is a life-saving product
- “Not profiterable for the producers”
- A lack of clear demand from healthcare and the purchasers
A Life saving product
The professionals within Transfusion Medicine are not pleased about infusing plasticizer together with the transfusion blood components.
Transfusion of blood is a transfer of living blood cells, or plasma, involving potentially immunological effects and effects associated with physiologically active substances. Those effects are considered to pose a significantly higher risk to the patient. Transfusion of blood components may be the difference between life and death for a patient although it may also involve certain risks.