How are transfusion-transmitted bacterial infections (TTBIs) prevented?

Updated: Jan 15, 2017
  • Author: Mudassar Zia, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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In order to prevent an infective incident, strict sterile precautions and donor screening are required. [11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16] Recommended measures include the following:

  • Donors who are febrile and likely infected should be deferred

  • Chlorhexidine or iodine should be used to properly disinfect the venipuncture site

  • The initial aliquot of donor blood should be discarded to prevent contamination with the skin flora.

  • Attempt to identify bacterial contamination by laboratory methods

  • Bactericidally treat the donated blood

The above-mentioned lab testing for contamination is especially important for platelet products. Identification can be done by culture method or nonculture methods, including Gram staining and metabolic screening for markers of contamination. A negative culture for 24-48 hours before the product is released for transfusion is highly recommended.

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