What is ISTARE?

The acronym ISTARE stands for International Surveillance of Transfusion-Associated Reactions and Events.

ISTARE is an international web database for reporting and analyzing all adverse reactions and events that threaten the recipient’s and donor’s health status and quality of life, regardless of their level of severity or the extent of harm actually caused.


What is ISTARE’s goal?

ISTARE’s ultimate goal is to maximize the safety of donors and transfusion of recipients through sharing haemovigilance data and thereby contributing to improving preventive measures throughout the world.


Why should I use ISTARE?

The development of the web-based system follows three years of Pilot Studies that have shown substantial differences between countries. By using ISTARE to compare data to other countries, each Haemovigilance Officer (User) can highlight differences. This may lead, through investigation at the national level of the causes behind them, to necessary improvements in processes.


What does ISTARE produce?

Rates and ratios of Adverse Reactions will be automatically provided from the ISTARE database. But ISTARE is not only a tool for recording and analysing the national haemogivilance data of a country.

Its main asset is that the haemovigilance officer can compare haemovigilance data internationally. ISTARE provides various charts that facilitate comparisons.

It should be stressed that each country’s haemovigilance data are entered anonymously and confidentially into the ISTARE database. Countries are not identified by name on ISTARE output. Code letters are used. Each user knows his or her country’s code but not other countries’ codes.


What data are required in order to participate in the ISTARE database?

The ISTARE web database collects from participating countries their haemovigilance data on:

General information:    

Structure and coverage of the haemovigilance system, traceability.

General denominators:    

Data on numbers of donors/donations and main categories of blood products. These are used for calculating rates.

Specific denominators:    

Denominator data for specific types of blood components issued and transfused

Donor adverse events:    

Events related not only to whole blood donations but also to aphaeresis donations.

Errors-incorrect blood component transfused (IBCT):

ABO incompatible transfusion

Sampling errors, all events where the name on the label of the tube was not the name of the patient whose blood was in the tube.

Wrong label, distinguishing blood service errors (wrong blood group on the product label) from errors in recipient name on the compatibility label.

Adverse transfusion reactions:

By blood component: red blood cells, platelets, plasma, cryoprecipitate, granulocytes, whole blood, other and multiple components

By imputability: cases “possibly”, “probably” and “definitely” associated with transfusion are to be reported, but not those “unlikely” to be associated with transfusion or not assessable.

By severity: non-severe, severe, life-threatening and fatal.