The London Cat Clinic, a leading 24/7 veterinary practice and hospital exclusively for cats, has partnered with Portugal-based ‘BSA-Animal Blood Bank UK’ to establish the UK’s first blood bank for cats.
Dr Jeremy Campbell, founder of The London Cat Clinic and an RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Feline Medicine, recently returned from two days working with the BSA – Animal Blood Bank UK in Porto to improve the process of feline blood donations in the UK. The BSA is the first feline blood bank licensed in the UK by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).
Dr Campbell says he is now “cautiously optimistic” about this important aspect of feline healthcare in the UK.
“We were collaborating to streamline some components of the donations process required specifically for UK feline blood donations, which was a great success. And we are now ready to forge on and grow this essential and literally life-giving process for all our feline patients in the UK.”
According to Pet Blood Bank UK, only 1% of vets currently have access to cat blood products, and there are only 18 feline donor practices in the country. This has made it increasingly challenging for vets to provide timely and potentially life-saving transfusions to their feline patients. In addition, many veterinary practices are unaware of the existence of any feline blood donation programme in the UK.
Dr Campbell said: “Cat blood donations are vital for saving the lives of many feline patients who need blood transfusions due to trauma, surgery, or disease. Cats have three major blood groups: A, B, and AB, and each group has different antigens and antibodies. Giving the wrong blood type to a cat can have serious or even fatal consequences, so it is crucial to match the donor and recipient blood types before transfusion.
“Many people are unaware that cats can donate blood and help other cats in need. Cat blood donations are a relatively safe and simple procedure that can literally mean the difference between life and death for the cats that require them.”Dr Campbell added: “We urge cat owners to consider donating their cats’ blood and help us create a better UK cat blood bank supply that can save many cats’ lives.”
Dr Rui Ferreira, Director of the BSA – Animal Blood Bank UK, said: “Our experience after working with more than 20 veterinary universities and some of the most renowned ICU units in the world has proven to us that blood components can make an undeniable difference in the outcome of critically ill patients. Our goal is to help as many animals as possible, ensuring that none of them die due to difficulty in accessing blood transfusions or a lack of reliable sources of blood components. In the UK, this shortage of blood components is, sadly, still a reality.
“We would like to thank veterinary specialists including Dr Jeremy Campbell and Dr Samantha Taylor (at International Cat Care) for supporting our initiative and helping to adapt the protocols to the UK. We are very grateful for their huge contribution and for the partnership with
The London Cat Clinic.”
The BSA has extremely high standards of blood component safety and donor welfare. The organisation is successfully running donations in four different countries and with multiple donation teams. BSA is accredited as cat-friendly by the International Society of Feline Medicine, and is the only Veterinary Blood Bank with such a distinction. Its ‘Fear Free’ certification – veterinary training to alleviate fear and distress among patients, has been recognised by the owners of its 10,000 blood donors. In addition, the advanced processing facilities at BSA have been a game-changer for ensuring the quality and safety of cat blood products.
To find out more, please email The London Cat Clinic at email email@example.com using ‘FAO: Dr Jeremy Campbell Re: Blood Donor Programme’ in the title line.