Bacterial contamination of blood components: risks, strategies, and regulation. Joint ASH and AABB Educational Session in Transfusion Medicine.

Hillyer CD, Josephson CD, Blajchman MA, Vostal JG, Epstein JS, Goodman JL
Hematology (Am Soc Hematol Educ Program) 2003:575-589.
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Very instructive article about reasons and prevention of bacterial contamination. The article is predominatly addressed to transfusionists. However, the true prevalence of bacterial contamination and septicemia due to blood transfusion remains unclear because of very controversial data in the literature. Data with high prevalence of contamination and septicemia are often not confirmed by corresponding results of bacterial cultures of the blood products and the recipient, although secondary bacterial contamination of the blood samples drawn for culturing is a frequent problem, on the other hand it is likely that not all septicemic complications are recognized as transfusion
transmitted. Universal leukodepletion is referred to as a method to reduce bacterial contamination but it is not mentioned that an increased frequency of leakages has to be assumed.

Volker Kretschmer

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