The blood bank at Al Khalidiya in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi health facilities will freeze 600 units of red blood cells annually over the next five years to ensure a strategic reserve in blood banks, the Abu Dhabi Media Office announced on Thursday.

The Frozen Red Blood Cells project launched by health regulator, the Abu Dhabi Department of Health (DoH), in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), will help meet urgent and unique transfusion needs.

“The project aims to establish and maintain a frozen blood supply in blood banks in order to enable a more effective and rapid response to emergency care cases. It will expand the lifespan of blood from between 21 and 42 days to 10 years by freezing,” the Abu Dhabi Media Office said on behalf of DoH and Seha.

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The initiative is a first of its kind in the UAE, and will be implemented by Abu Dhabi Blood Bank Services.

According to details announced, the Frozen Red Blood Cells project will distribute frozen blood stocks across the emirate, with 480 units stored in Abu Dhabi city and 120 units in Al Ain. It will reportedly make use of advanced technology managed by highly skilled professionals and enhance emergency care in the emirate.