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Blood vending machine 'a first' for Ireland

From BBC - November 9, 2017

Vending machines in hospitals are normally used for a quick snack or cup of coffee - but one which dispenses blood is an innovation.

Staff at Belfast's Mater Hospital have helped devise and produce a piece of technology called a HemoSafe.

It has been described as a new way of delivering blood, which will improve the safe delivery of blood products.

It is proving so successful there are plans to roll it out in other hospitals across the Belfast Health Trust.

Blood vending machines are already in operation in hospitals in the United States and London, but this is the first time one has been used on the island of Ireland.

'Less paperwork'

The HemoSafe uses blood track software, which means that when a doctor or nurse takes a sample of blood from a patient, it is tracked and sent to the lab.

If that patient then needs extra units, the information is already available and can be simply verified.

As the system is automated, it is considered to be more accurate and also cuts down the paperwork for hospital staff.

Nurse Carmel Wright, the clinical leader behind the project, said she was delighted with the way the machine worked with the lab's management system.

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