In 2010 colleagues from the Yorkhill milk bank in Glasgow, Scotland and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service started working together to devise a more secure means of identifying human milk donations. They proposed using ISBT 128 and contacted ICCBBA to discuss how this could be supported.
Following discussions with its technical advisory groups ICCBBA agreed that the ISBT 128 Standard can be extended to cover milk banking, and the Scottish team moved forward with designing a milk banking IT system based around the use of ISBT 128. A pilot of this system has been completed, and the full system has just gone live.
A number of other countries have expressed an interest in improving the identification of milk donations using ISBT 128.
In order to ensure a common approach to the identification and bar coding of human milk an ad hoc working group in Milk Banking has been established. The group is comprised of experts in the field with a willingness to work towards global standardization in this area. It is anticipated that this group will eventually form the basis of a formal ICCBBA Technical Advisory Group in Milk Banking.