These 60-minute webinars presented by key transfusion professionals are designed to highlight the latest in transfusion knowledge and practice.

There is the option to register for the scheduled live webinar or watch the recording in the Catalogue at your own convenience.

You will need to create an account or sign in to your existing free Transfusion Online Learning account to access the webinars.

Continuing professional development (CPD) points are available for all completed sessions.

Blood, COVID-19 and Beyond: Reflections from the Australian transfusion community during a pandemic will not be going ahead as scheduled on Thursday 6 August 4.00 - 5.00 pm (AEST).

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has made this difficult decision out of respect to the developing COVID-19 situation across the country.

Self enrolment

This presentation will highlight the vital work that our Lifeblood nurses are involved with to support Australian lives - their skills and expertise are integral to help maintain a safe and sufficient blood supply and milk bank.  


Maureen Bower, Director Donor Care, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood

Self enrolment

July 2020

Blood transfusion in Australia is extremely safe by international standards. 

With respect to infectious disease transmission, the highest remaining risk is from bacterial contamination of platelets. Platelets are stored at room temperature, providing a relatively favourable environment for replication of bacterial contaminants introduced during collection or processing. Shelf life is limited to only 5 days, chiefly to reduce the risk of septic transfusion reactions. 

The result is a significant number of platelet units which are discarded despite being otherwise safe and clinically effective. The presentation will give an overview of current approaches to bacterial contamination screening in Australia, alternative approaches used internationally, and options to extend shelf life while maintaining or improving safety.

Presenter:Mr Michael Thomas, Microbiology Medical Specialist, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood.

12 August 2020 01:30pm - 02:30pm Australia/Sydney

Transfusion Practitioner (TP) is a term originating in the UK, however in Australia these positions are usually known as transfusion nurse, transfusion safety/quality officer, PBM nurse/coordinator or blood management nurse. The session will cover the diverse activities of the role and how these lead to improved practice and ultimately improved patient safety.

Presenter:Ms Linley Bielby,  Manager Blood Matters Program, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood.

2 September 2020 01:30pm - 02:30pm Australia/Sydney

This presentation will cover the basic immunogenetics involved in transplantation matching and how we use HLA epitope science to fine tune the degree of matching at the immune response level.

HLA antibodies are a contraindication in transplantation and many recipients have pre formed antibodies from previous transplants, pregnancy and transfusion. Finding a suitable match for these patients is challenging and we have employed a newly established approach using HLA epitope science to refine the immunology. Typically this process has been used for highly sensitised patients but has now been applied pre-emptively in paediatric patients for their first transplant to stop any future antibodies. 

Presenter:Ms Rhonda Holdsworth, National Manager, Transplantation and Immunogenetics Services, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood.

14 October 2020 01:30pm - 02:30pm Australia/Sydney

For Lifeblood, providing a safe and secure blood supply is paramount, however, this must balance the effective use of healthcare resources. A key principle is keeping risks as low as reasonably achievable and risk tolerability is a vital element in achieving this. The Alliance of Blood Operators (ABO) Risk Based Decision Making (RBDM) Framework was developed as a structured and systematic process to ensure emerging blood safety risks take into account not only blood safety but operational, economic and societal factors to ensure. This presentation will go through recent examples of how the RBDM has been used by Lifeblood and highlight current risk tolerability for transfusion-transmitted infections.

Presenter:Dr Veronica Hoad, Public Health Physician, Clinical Services and Research, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood. 

November 2020 

What actually happens in neonatal units when the decision to transfuse blood products is made? How are these decisions made - do clinicians really follow the guidelines? How many newborn babies receive blood products? Has use changed over time? And what about transfusion-associated necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) - is this a true entity? 

Presenter:Dr Amy Keir, Consultant Neonatologist, Women's and Children's Hospital.

June 2020

This presentation will provide an overview of the resources developed by the Lifeblood Transfusion Policy and Education (TPE) across the different career segments and explain how they contribute to patient blood management (PBM).

The TPE team provides a supporting role in patient care through development and delivery of traditional and innovative education and clinical practice improvement support tools to enhance transfusion and PBM practice. 

Presenter:Dr Ben Saxon, Medical Director, Policy and Education, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood.

12 May 2020 11.00am - 11.30am Australia/Sydney

The Blood Book: Australian Blood Administration Handbook has been developed to assist Australian health professionals - particularly nurses - in safe bedside transfusion practice.

It replaces the popular Flippin' Blood which was a collaboration between the Blood Service, BloodSafe and SA Health.

This session will include:

  • an overview of safe transfusion practice,
  • how it can assist throughout the transfusion process, 
  • an outline of the format and content of the Blood Book including checklists for both blood component and product administration, and
  • how to access print and online versions of the Blood Book.

This webinar will be presented by expert and award-winner Ms Linley Bielby, Manager of the Blood Matters Program.

Self enrolment

April 2020 

Optimal transfusion support in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) has not been established and it remains unclear whether different red blood cell (RBC) transfusion policies could modify clinical outcomes, including quality of life (QoL). 

The findings from REDDS-1 provides new data on the effects of different RBC transfusion thresholds on patient-centred outcomes and blood utilisation. They support the feasibility and rationale of progressing to a definitive trial, and further preparatory work (REDDS-2) is underway.

Presenter:Dr Zoe McQuilten, Consultant Haematologist, Monash Health, Victoria

4 March 2020 02.00pm - 03.00pm Australia/Sydney

A number of disorders, such as sickle cell anaemia, are triggered by defective adult haemoglobin. Sickle cell anaemia and beta thalassemia are the most common single-gene genetic disorders in the world, affecting millions of people, with enormous costs to health systems. Research has solved the 50-year-old mystery about how these mutations - which are naturally carried by a small percentage of people - operate and alter the expression of human genes.

Discovering the mutation responsible means that CRISPR gene editing whereby natural mutations are introduced. These can be used to turn on beneficial genes or repress harmful genes and, for example, boost red cell production of fetal haemoglobin.

With this discovery, there is potentially a way to fast-track the development of new therapies for sickle cell disease and other inherited conditions using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing.

Presenter:Prof Merlin Crossley, Staff Specialist Haematologist Pathology North, John Hunter Children's Hospital, Calvary Mater Newcastle.

5 February 2020 01:30pm - 02:30pm Australia/Sydney

As Australia becomes more ethnically diverse it is important the donor panel reflects this diversity in order to meet the future transfusion needs of the population, particularly important for rare or unusual blood types that may not otherwise be represented in our current donor panel. 

Lifeblood's Donor Research team INROADS project recently completed a study to test donors' responses to being asked about their ethnicity, as the donor questionnaire does not currently seek this information. 

Knowing donors' ethnic ancestries will help Lifeblood to better match donors with patients, as donors with the same ethnic background are more likely to be a close match. 

Presenter:Dr Luke Gahan, Research Fellow, Clinical Services and Research, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood.