Malta is a small archipelago with a population of approximately 400.000 and with over 1 million tourist visitors per year. The Islands have always been self-sufficient with regards to labile blood products.
There is one government funded Blood Establishment which collects (2 fixed donation sites, one mobile unit), processes, screens and distributes blood. There are four Hospital Blood Banks which are mainly involved with patient care. The Blood Establishment and the main Public Teaching Hospital Blood Bank, which receives over 90% of blood products manufactured, work closely together but are administratively separate and autonomous.
A total of about 16.000 units of whole blood are collected annually from donors having a Maltese ID card (confirms residence in Malta) and approximately 400 apheresis platelets are also collected. All labile products for clinical use are leuko-filtered.
A national haemovigilance system lead by the Public Health Regulation Division captures the adverse events and reactions reported by all hospitals.
New blood establishment premises are in the final planning stage and construction should commence shortly.