Posted by Michelle Stefan on Mar 25, 2013


Written by:  Doug Newson

Blood banks in Central and South America will be getting copies of a new Spanish language technical manual courtesy of The Rotary Club of Fort Worth South, TX.

The new technical manual put together by the Ibero American Collaborative Group on Transfusion Medicine (GCIAMT). The manual, “Aplicaciones y practica de la medicina transfusional,” will be introduced at the Latin American Congress of Transfusion Medicine scheduled in Guatemala April 2013.

The two-volume publication promotes voluntary, non-remunerated blood donation, not generally done in Central and South America, and provides the technical guidelines for collection, storage and transfusion procedures.

All of the contributing authors donated their efforts and will not benefit from any sales.

Meeting publication costs for manuals in all 19 national blood service centers in the countries of Central and South America is what The Rotary Club of Fort Worth South’s financial gift of  $2,500 will help provide. That gift will be matched by the same amount from the Global Blood Fund (GBF). GBF is an international charitable organization working with blood collection organizations in developing countries.

Having the manuals available for the April meeting in Guatemala will aid distribution since representatives of all national blood centers will be attending.

In seeking a Rotary partner to provide a new Spanish language technical manual, the request came to Charles (Chuck) Kurtzman.

Kurtzman says The Rotary Club of Fort Worth South began its involvement in blood donation in 1995 when Dr. Margie Peschel, then director of the Carter Blood Center (now Carter BloodCare), spoke to the club and urged its members to challenge other Rotary clubs in the area. From this came the Rotary District Governor’s Challenge Blood Drives, which have brought about 140,000 life-saving donations to the north Texas area.

To get a sense of the need for a global blood donation effort, during the spring of 2006, a research class taught by Gerald Grotta, Ph.D. in the Schieffer School of Journalism at Texas Christian University found that Rotary Clubs are the world’s most significant forces in getting voluntary donations as opposed to family replacement or a paid donor, common practices in most of the world.  The surveys also indicated a worldwide interest in voluntary blood drives and technological support for community blood centers among Rotary Districts around the world.

Based on that research, the Board of Directors of Rotary International approved the charter of the Global Network for Blood Donation (GNBD) as a Rotarian Action Group (RAG).  GNBC now has about 1,500 members in Rotary Clubs around the world. The GNBD and the GBF are exploring areas of mutual cooperation, so the Spanish manuals are one of the first collaborative efforts.

The inspiration for the project, Peschel, Medical Director Emerita of Carter BloodCare and an honorary member of The Rotary Club of Fort Worth South, said of the gift, “What a wonderful opportunity to help blood banks, transfusion services and the people of South America.”

In referring to the need for the books, Peschel said, “Transfusion practice is dynamic and is being modified as new information and methods become available. The Technical Manual is one of the most valuable manuals in transfusion medicine and contains vital information and methods that result in better patient care and increased safety for patients and donors.  This information saves lives.”