It is now possible to give a biobank sample for the Blood Service’s biobank in all Finnish Blood Service centres. Giving a sample is voluntary and donors are asked to give their written consent to this.
Biobank samples will enable the study of blood donors on a more versatile basis. At the same time, blood donors can promote the development of medicine in general.
Biobank samples are collected during blood donation, from the so-called primary bag of blood which is collected anyway. For this reason, there is no need to take a separate sample and the same total amount of blood is collected. The duration of blood donation is not extended.
Biobank samples can be given at all blood donation centres. This will later become possible also in mobile blood service sessions, probably later this year.
Collected biobank samples and data can be used for purposes such as providing more precise information on the health effects of regular blood donation, and transfusion medicine can be developed even further. Samples from healthy blood donors may also be used as a valuable comparison material for studies, with the aim of developing better treatments for various diseases and promoting public health. The Blood Service biobank is involved in the extensive FinnGen research project, which aims to collect half a million Finnish biobank samples by 2023.
The biobank’s activities are strictly regulated by law and are supervised by Valvira, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health. All material collected in biobanks is processed and stored with strict respect for privacy . Researchers of biobank material are not allowed to combine their research results with the donor's personal information.
The Blood Service biobank was established in the summer of 2017; the aim is to obtain samples and information from a total of 50,000 blood donors. Samples have so far been collected from almost 9,000 blood donors.