Australian researchers discover how to automate blood donations
Blood processing is largely manual.
At a processing centre, whole blood donations must be separated into its cellular components via centrifugation. To do this, the blood pack must be folded in a particular way to ensure during the process there is no bacterial contamination (which, in turn, increases shelf life).
Staff are highly trained to carry out this operation, but there are still risks and instances of human error. Damaged or torn packs not only lead to the loss of a precious donation, but also disrupt production and expose staff to potentially hazardous biological materials. Even subtle non-conformities can occur and build over time, leading to quality deviations. On the other hand, such repetitive motions – sometimes hundreds a day – can cause ergonomic strain and injury for staff. (More)