Transfusion Medicine


The Blood Transfusion Laboratory, Cork University Hospital (CUH) is a hospital blood bank within the Health Service Executive (HSE).  It has been operating since 1981 following the opening of CUH in 1978 and is located on the ground floor of the CUH campus in Wilton, Cork City.

The laboratory operates 24/7/365 to provide a variety of routine and emergency hospital blood bank services for CUH, Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH), as well as General Practitioners (GPs). 

The Blood Transfusion Laboratory receives approximately 33,000 samples for testing per year and 15,000 blood components and products (e.g. red cells) are tested, issued and transfused annually to patients in CUH and Cork University Maternity Hospital. 

Over the years, the Blood Transfusion Laboratory, CUH has had to continually adapt its operations to provide timely critical blood transfusion support in response to increasing workload demands. This is on the background of increased frequency of national blood supply shortage notices.  The blood transfusion service in CUH supports over 40 different medical and surgical specialties on-site including the designated Level 1 Trauma Centre, Emergency Department, Haemophilia Comprehensive Care Centre and the Haemato-oncology services. 

In addition, the transfusion laboratory supports the Cork University Maternity Hospital. One of the largest maternity hospitals in the country providing maternity, neonatal and gynaecological services for women and their families with approximately 9,000 births taking place in CUMH annually.

Contact Details

Routine Enquiries 8am -8pm                                       (021) 48 22541                

Emergency On Call Enquiries 8pm - 8am                 (021) 48 20172                

Haemovigilance Officers                                                (021) 49 22394 / 086 045 3551

On Call Services

The routine day in the blood transfusion laboratory 08:00‑20:00 Monday‑Friday and 09:00-12:30 Saturday

Outside these hours the transfusion operates an on-call schedule whereby only emergency samples are processed during on‑call hours.

The on-call service is provided by a single staff member and is contactable by the bleep system #199.

Key Staff

With just over 20 staff comprising of Medical Scientists, Haemovigilance Officers and Consultant Haematologists, the laboratory operates 24/7/365 to provide a variety of routine and emergency hospital blood bank services 

Dr. Oonagh Gilligan                           Consultant Haematologist/Medical Director

Dr. Eoghan Molloy                             Consultant Haematologist

John Sheehy                                       Chief Medical Scientist

Bernadette O’Donovan                      Chief Medical Scientist

Deirdre Harrington                            Haemovigilance Officer

Bridget Lane                                      Haemovigilance Co-ordinator

Greg O’Connor                                  Haemovigilance Officer

Quality Improvement and Innovation

The laboratory operates within a continuous cycle of audit and Quality Improvement. 

Several recent and ongoing projects illustrate the positive contribution the laboratory makes to promoting excellence in quality and patient safety.  These include but are not limited to:

- The Blood Track Project

- The Electronic Crossmatch Project

- The Targeted Routine Antenatal Anti-D Prophylaxis Programme Project

- The Prehospital Transfusion Project

- Blood Optimisation Project


Since September 2008, it operates a quality management system to ISO15189 & AML–BB standards and since then time has been accredited by the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) - reference 199MT (details available from

The laboratory continues to actively engage in the accreditation process to ensure compliance with the EU Blood Directive 2002/98/EC and other relevant legislation and works closely with Haemovigilance personnel to ensure all aspects of best transfusion practice, haemovigilance and traceability requirements are maintained.