In Italy, the Blood System is part of the National Health Service. Healthcare services, including blood and blood component collection, processing, testing, storage and distribution, as well as all transfusion medicine activities, are delivered by the Regional Health Services within a federalist legislative framework which defines the functions of the Ministry of Health (legislation, coordination, supervision).
National Blood Centre (Centro Nazionale Sangue – CNS): is the national coordinating organisation in the country. It is one of the national technical centres of the Ministry of Health and it operates at the National Institute of Health in autonomous position. It is responsible for coordination as well as scientific and technical control of the national Blood System. It also provides blood inspectors education and qualification and manages a national register of qualified blood inspectors as well as the periodic assessment of their activities and skills. CNS also coordinates the Italian Cord Blood Network (ITCBN) with the support of the National Transplant Centre and collaborates with the National Medicines Agency as concerns evaluation of plasma for fractionation and plasma-derived medicinal products.
Regional Health Authorities: inspect, authorize and accredit Blood Establishments and Blood Collection Units, according to regional, national and European regulation. Each regional inspection team must include at least one nationally qualified blood inspector from the CNS register.
Regional Blood Centres: in each of the 21 regions a Regional Blood Centre is instituted by law. Regional Blood Centres coordinate the respective local networks of Blood Establishments and Blood Collection Units, complying with national regulation and self-sufficiency, quality and safety plans.
Blood Establishments: beyond performing blood and blood component collection, processing, testing, storage and distribution, most BEs also function as hospital blood banks. They are being progressively re-organized in local/regional blood departments, merging processing and testing activities in a limited number of establishments.
Blood donors associations: in Italy there are four main blood donors organizations (AVIS, FIDAS, FRATRES, CRI), highly involved in blood donor management. By law, they can run BCUs upon specific regional authorisation and accreditation, under the technical control of BEs and Regional Blood Centres.
Centro Nazionale Sangue
Istituto Superiore di Sanità
Via Giano della Bella, 27
00162 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 06-4990.4989