The blood supply in the United States is much safer today than ever before. The risk of HIV transmission has been nearly eliminated and the risk of hepatitis transmission greatly reduced thanks to multiple levels of safeguards, including:

  • comprehensive evaluation of donors' medical and social history to exclude donors who may be carriers of infectious agents
  • physical examination of the donor
  • strict donation procedures using sterile supplies
  • laboratory testing

These procedures are followed by all blood centers nationwide and are monitored under the regulatory guidance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

  Donors complete a detailed questionnaire to help identify person at risk of carrying blood-borne disease.

Only volunteers are permitted to donate blood, and there can be no substantial incentives to give. Studies prove that community volunteers are the safest source of blood for transfusion. Every donor completes a health history questionnaire and screening interview to identify behaviors and conditions that could represent a risk for disease transmission. Strict confidentiality, as well as the absence of incentives or pressure to donate, encourage honest answers and deferral of any potential donor with possible health risks.

Every time someone donates blood, his or her blood is tested for evidence of infectious disease, including hepatitis B and C; HIV 0, 1, and 2; HTLV I and II; syphilis. The donor's blood type also is determined. Any unit of blood that shows evidence of carrying a disease is discarded and the donor is deferred from subsequent donation.

Copyright 2005 Community Blood Center

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