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Ó Caoláin welcomes IBTS Haemochromatosis Programme

19 August, 2013 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, has welcomed today’s announcement that the Irish Blood Transfusion Service will begin a free phlebotomy (venesection) service for people with hereditary haemochromatosis.

The service will be available in Dublin from today and Cork from November on a pilot basis with a view to extending it to other towns and cities in the future.

Speaking today, Deputy Ó Caoláin, who has Hereditary Haemochromatosis himself, said;

“I very much welcome this decision by the Irish Blood Transfusion Service. I have long called for this facility to be in place to allow blood donations from haemochromatosis patients, taken as part of their routine treatment, to be added to the national blood stock.

“Until now, blood drawn from haemochromatosis patients was discarded due to IBTS policy. This move will bring Ireland in line with many other countries.

“It is hoped that when the pilot programme is in place donations from haemochromatosis patients will make up to 4% of total donations.

“It is my wish, and that of all haemochromatosis sufferers, that this pilot programme will be rolled out on a state-wide basis and at the earliest possible. I will continue to lobby for this development.”


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