The Swiss Transfusion SRC is an independent, non-profit public limited company within the Swiss Red Cross (SRC). The majority of its shares are owned by the SRC, while the remaining shares belong to the 11 regional blood transfusion services. Swiss Transfusion SRC has two major areas of activity, blood supply and blood stem cells.
In the area of blood supply, Swiss Transfusion SRC ensures the supply of blood products to hospitals along with the regional blood transfusion services. The work of the umbrella organisation also includes guaranteeing the quality of the blood donation right through to the product and ensuring standardised regulations in the different regions.
The core responsibilities of Swiss Blood Stem Cells (SBSC) are the management of the registry of blood stem cell donors in Switzerland as well as the recruitment and mediation of blood stem cell donors for patients at home and abroad.
The legal basis for the Blood transfusion service’s activities is a decision of 1951 which assigned the Swiss Red Cross the task of setting up a nation-wide blood transfusion service.
Both the umbrella organisation (Swiss Transfusion SRC) and the 11 regional blood transfusion services are non-profit organisations: blood products are sold to the hospitals at cost. The selling prices of the most important blood products are fixed by the Swiss government.
The most important tasks of the umbrella organisation are:
• Consistent management and regulation of blood procurement throughout Switzerland
The most important tasks of the regional blood transfusion services are:
• The actual procurement of blood and the provision of donor care
• Manufacturing labile blood products and selling blood products to the hospitals
All in all, the Blood transfusion service area employs around 800 persons, many of them part-time. Thousands of persons, most of them from Samaritan associations, do voluntary work during mobile blood donating campaigns.
Each year around 270’000 blood donations are procured in Switzerland, some 45% in mobile blood donating units and another 55% at stationary centres. The supply of blood for the Swiss population has been met at all times. Despite this, the expiry rate of about 1% is low thanks to flexible procurement planning.