Sanquin to screen donors' blood for diseases
From next year, blood bank Sanquin will screen the blood values of a group of donors to check for early stages of diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, immune issues, and cancer. If a condition is detected, Sanquin will notify the donor to go to a doctor, NU.nl reports.
Sanquin hopes to detect "subtle changes" in blood values that could indicate a developing problem, director Tjark Tjin-A-Tsoi said to the newspaper. "Preferably at a time when the donor or medical care can intervene relatively simply, quickly, and cheaply."
As an added benefit, the data Sanquin collects could lead to discoveries about signals that precede diseases. "At a time when cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, but also pandemics affect so many people in society, preventive health care is really something we as a society need to invest in," said Tjin-A-Tsoi.
The screening will only happen with the donor's permission. As people donate blood several times a year on average, Sanquin believes it can collect unique data. The blood bank also hopes this will increase its donor base.
The pilot program will start in January, with 15,000 donors participating. The blood bank has a total of about 400,000 donors.