Implementation of a quality system (ISO 9000 series) for placental blood banking

G. Sirchia, P. Rebulla, L. Lecchi, F. Mozzi, R. Crepaldi, A. Parravicini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although placental blood has recently become a new source of hematopoietic progenitors for marrow replacement, limited attention has been given to systems suitable to ensure the short-term and long-term quality of placental blood units used for transplantation. In this article, we describe a quality system for placental blood banking developed in accord with ISO 9002 norms at Milano Cord Blood Bank. The quality system is the organizational structure, procedures, processes, and resources needed to implement quality management. ISO 9002 is a model for quality assurance in production, installation, and servicing, which includes a number of clauses providing guidance for the implementation of the quality system. The quality system was started by the bank medical director with step 1: the general quality plan, which included (a) the written description of mission, objectives, technical and organizational policies, and staff organization chart of the placental blood bank, (b) the definition and acquisition of adequate financial, human, and structural resources, (c) the appointment of a quality system head independent from the production laboratory and reporting directly to the medical director. Tasks of the quality system head were (a) to identify the placental blood banking process together with the placental blood bank personnel, (b) to implement a documentation plan finalized at the production and maintenance of (i) the quality manual, which provides a summary on how the bank operates with a quality system in compliance with the ISO 9002 clauses, (ii) the general procedures (or quality system procedures), which provide more detail on selected clauses, including at least those prescribed by the ISO 9002 standard, (iii) the operative procedures (or process procedures), which describe in detail the process of placental blood banking and how technical activities must be performed, (iv) the work instructions, which provide stepwise descriptions of individual activities, (v) records/forms for data collection and storage, (c) to identify quality indicators, (d) to start a regular internal audit, (e) to report audit results to the medical director for review. This was followed by step 2: the job descriptions, staff training, and qualification; step 3: the documentation plan; step 4: the internal audit plan; step 5: the launch of the quality system, and step 6: the assessment by an external team from an accredited third-party organization and final certification for compliance to ISO 9002. The quality system, which must he maintained and undergo external audit at regular intervals so that certification is confirmed, ensures the high probability that placental blood units provided to clinicians conform regularly to predefined levels of quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-35
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Hematotherapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Immunology


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