Testing Blood For Safe Transfusions
Blood donations help save lives! But have you ever wondered what goes into making sure all the donated blood is safe for the recipient? Blood testing has a key role in the donation process to ensure all blood is free from infections and other blood-borne diseases.
I got a chance to talk with Cheri Jennings, Director of National Donor Testing Services and Clinical Trials, about what goes into blood testing. The blood testing process at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is safe and effective due to strict quality control measures by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cheri says there’s zero tolerance when it comes to blood testing, and it’s highly effective.
“Blood is lifesaving, and donors are giving patients blood transfusions to help them,” Cheri said. “The last thing you want to do is give them tainted blood.”
The donated blood at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s 17 neighborhood donor centers around the Houston area, Brazos Valley, and East Texas, and the mobile drives will be sent to our Headquarters for testing. We have 13 tests for each donor. Before a blood unit gets released for transfusion to local hospitals, it is subjected to several tests to screen for infectious diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis, and West Nile Virus, among others.
I always wondered which diseases pop up the most during the testing phase. I was able to get a breakdown:
· Syphilis – 0.18%
· HIV – 0.03%
· Hepatitis C - 0.1%
· Hepatitis B – 0.05
In addition to blood testing, there’s a pre-screening process for all donors. The pre-screening process will help determine if you can donate. This is another way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases through blood transfusions.
Blood testing is a vital component of the blood donation process. It helps to ensure that the donated blood is safe for the recipient and reduces the risk of transmitting infectious diseases. The safety and effectiveness of blood testing are guaranteed by strict quality control measures, sensitive and reliable tests, and the pre-screening of donors for any known risk factors. By donating blood, you not only help to save lives but also contribute to the safety and well-being of the recipients. If you want to help save lives, sign up for an appointment today!
About the Author
Michael is the Communication Coordinator at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center and is passionate about storytelling. He uses his writing skills to spread the word about our life-saving work. Whether he is developing content for the blog, website, newsletters, or other communications materials, he is continually working to raise awareness about the importance of blood donations and engage our donors, volunteers, and the general public.