Introduction for the General Public

The Notify Library of adverse event and reaction types

Since its introduction in the late 1930s, blood transfusion is one of the most common medical treatments performed in health-care facilities around the world. Hospitals use blood transfusions to help people who are injured, having surgery, getting cancer treatments, or suffer from other medical conditions that can cause bleeding.

Numerous clinical procedures rely, for their success, on the application to patients of organs, tissues and cells from unrelated donors or, on some occasions, taken from a relative or from the patient themselves. Organs such as liver, kidney, heart and lung; tissues such as skin, bone, corneas and heart valves can also be donated, processed and stored and provided to hospitals for transplantation in patients who require replacement of damaged or diseased tissues. Tissue loss or damage might result from malignancy, trauma, burns or other causes. Since the first successful bone marrow transplant in 1956, thousands of patients with lethal diseases such as severe leukemia, aplastic anemia, and inherited immune deficiencies have been successfully treated with hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) that can reconstitute the marrow of the recipients, restoring a healthy blood system.

In many countries worldwide, assisted reproductive technologies help infertile couples to have children, through procedures such as in-vitro fertilization. Patients, including children, at risk of losing their fertility through receiving therapy for a cancer, can also have their fertility preserved through the collection and storage of gametes or the tissues that produce gametes.

The database on this site does not describe the great benefits of societal engagement in these programmes of donation and the clinical procedures that they facilitate; for more information on these programmes go to the links on the left or the further links here. This site focuses on the rare occasions when unforeseen complications or errors result in negative outcomes. Although such incidents are unusual, they present opportunities for the field to learn and improve, so that these services can be made safer and more effective for future donors and patients.

The data presented on the Notify Library site should be seen in the context of impressive success stories in transplantation, transfusion and assisted reproduction across the world.