PLATELET SAFETY - Impact, Prevention & Control of Bacterial Contamination


Transmission of bacteria in blood components is a serious threat to patient safety. Before the practice of routine bacterial culturing of platelets for transfusion was implemented, transmission of bacteria in blood components was the highest risk of transfusion-transmitted infectious disease. 

Near the end of the twentieth century, astounding progress was made in the reduction of viral risk (e.g., HIV, Hepatitis B and C) from allogeneic blood transfusion.  For example, HIV transmission was reduced from a  1 in 100 risk per unit transfused to approximately 1 in 2 million.  Given the reduction in the viral risk, at the end of the 20th century, transfusion-transmitted bacterial infections and the resulting septic transfusion reactions have emerged as the greatest threat of transfusion-transmitted disease and the leading cause of transfusion-related fatalities.
This practical booklet is intended to be a useful reference tool for blood bank and transfusion services professionals involved in the preparation of platelet concentrates, and the prevention and detection of bacterial contamination.

Bacterial contamination of platelets is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality associated with  transfusion. Therefore, pre-transfusion detection of  contamination in platelet units is an important safety  measure.

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