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.

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.

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.

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

13 May 2020 01:30pm - 02:30pm Australia/Sydney

A series of data, studies and experiments will be presented that demonstrates the impact of iron deficiency on human health and performance.

Anaemia is increasingly recognized as an interventional haematological target in patients before major surgery. Preoperative anaemia increases the need for perioperative blood transfusion, and there is now a well-recognized association with increased patient complications, length of hospital stay, and worse outcomes.

The most common cause for anaemia in the preoperative patient is iron deficiency, which can be absolute (due to nutritional deficiency and blood loss) or indirect (by inflammatory mediated disruption in iron transport leading to a state of functional iron deficiency). The important aspect is that Iron deficiency occurs before anaemia, as anaemia only arises when the bone marrow is devoid of iron to make new red cells.

Iron is also important form cellular function and cellular respiration. Conversion of Oxygen and Glucose to energy (ATP) through aerobic metabolism occurs in the mitochondria of every cell, and the key component of mitochondrial cytochromes is iron. Iron deficiency results in reduced aerobic metabolism and may explain the plethora of patient symptoms; muscle aches, shortness of breath, palpitations brain fog etc. These are from iron deficiency, not anaemia. After all, a person three days after blood transfusion who is anaemic does not mimic the symptoms of a person with iron deficiency.

Presenter:Dr Toby Richards, Lawrence-Brown Professor of Vascular Surgery, University of Western Australia, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Perth.

10 June 2020 01:30pm - 02:30pm Australia/Sydney

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.

8 July 2020 01:30pm - 02:30pm Australia/Sydney

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. 

11 November 2020 01:30pm - 02:30pm Australia/Sydney

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.

13 February 2019 01:30pm - 02:30pm Australia/Sydney

This session will discuss the considerations to be made when transfusing neonates, particularly for those needing intensive care management.

Presenter:Dr Bryony Ross, Staff Specialist Haematologist Pathology North, John Hunter Children's Hospital, Calvary Mater Newcastle.

Guest access

13 March 2019 01:30pm - 02:30pm Australia/Sydney

This session will discuss the impact of red cell transfusion in improving patient functional status in chronic disease.

Presenter:Dr Philip Crispin, Consultant Haematologist, Canberra Hospital.
Guest access

17 April 2019 01:30pm - 02:30pm Australia/Sydney

This session will provide an update for the study 'Haemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN) associated with blood groups: Digital PCR for this "atypical” panel for blood group typing'. The study recruits isoimmunised mothers from around Australia to assess the reliability and clinical utility of these 'in-house' non-invasive prenatal tests.

Presenter:Helen O'Brien, Senior Research Assistant, Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

Guest access

May 2019

This session will review the history of patient blood management and transfusion medicine from 1880 to 2018.

Presenter:Professor James Isbister, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Sydney Medical School.
Guest access

12 June 2019 01:30pm - 02:30pm Australia/Sydney

This session will discuss the importance of genomic data in understanding blood group antigen profiles for Indigenous Australians and how this may guide transfusion practice.

Presenter:Maree Perry, Research assistant, Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
Guest access

Prerecorded session 

This session will present the role a Milk Bank plays and the processes taken to establish the service.

Presenter:Richard Brown, Integration Manager Business Growth and Innovation, Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
Guest access

This session will be prerecorded and released on 14 August 2019 

Granulocytes may be beneficial in selected patients.  This session will discuss the indications, pitfalls, benefits and controversies surrounding granulocyte transfusions.

Presenter:Dr Kobie (Jacoba) von Wielligh, Transfusion Medicine Specialist, Pathology Services, Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
Guest access

11 September 2019 01:30pm - 02:30pm Australia/Sydney

This session will discuss the increasing use of Faecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) in treating gastrointestinal conditions. Collection and preparation of FMT material is a developing area but regulatory and bureaucratic issues remain unresolved.

Presenter:Michael Thomas, Microbiology Medical Specialist, Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
Guest access

16 October 2019

When mistakes happen in healthcare there can be terrible consequences. This session will discuss the investigation of errors in a no blame manner and ways to support staff when things go wrong.

Presenter:Dr Nolan McDonnell, Clinical Associate Professor, King Edward Memorial Hospital.
Guest access

13 November 2019

Emerging infectious diseases continue to be a major concern because of their potential consequences - this session will outline what they are, give some examples and explain why they continue to emerge.

Presenter:Professor Iain Gosbell, National Donor and Product Safety Specialist, Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
Guest access