SKAE – Hellenic Centre for Coordinating Haemovigilance
The Hellenic Centre for Coordinating Haemovigilance (SKAE) was founded by the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Decision of the Board of Directors, Session 23rd 1995 and published in the Government Gazette 831/29 June 2001) as the body responsible for developing a haemovigilance system on all stages of the chain from donation to transfusion.
In the course of the harmonization of Greek law with European Directives establishing standards for safety and quality of blood and blood components, SKAE was given responsibility for providing information on adverse reactions and events related to transfusion among recipients and related to donation among donors (Government Gazette 261/17-02-2011). Since January 2008, SKAE has been located within the central offices of the HCDCP.
Its’ staff have scientific expertise on blood donation and transfusion, public health, laboratory blood testing, counseling for blood-transmitted infections, statistical analysis, training and organization.
SKAE’s basic functions
Epidemiological surveillance of transfusion-transmitted infections
Vigilance for adverse reactions and events, equipment failures and complications in general in blood donors during and after donation
Epidemiological surveillance of adverse reactions and events in recipients of transfusions of blood and blood components
Tracing and look-back procedures
Crisis management for epidemics and emergencies with impacts on blood services and public health
Rapid response and alerts for provision of information on blood safety
Issuing guidelines for protecting blood safety against infectious threats such as West Nile virus and malaria
Vigilance for materials and reagents used in blood donation
Informing the medical community of the results of tests
Proposals for measures for reducing or avoiding adverse events and malfunctions in the transfusion chain
Education and training
Research into the contribution of new technologies in blood testing, and cost-benefit analyses
Organization of educational seminars and conferences
Participation in European and international seminars and conferences
Recording forms for epidemiological surveillance of transfusion-transmitted infections, and for adverse reactions and events associated with transfusion
Information materials concerning blood safety and haemovigilance (leaflets, manuals, posters, cd’s)
Papers in Greek and international scientific journals
Translation of the Council of Europe’s “Guide to the Preparation, Use and Quality Assurance of Blood Components”