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Blog In Health

Blood donation and transfusion risks

By Tim Sandle
Posted Dec 23, 2011 in Science
The UK NHS Blood and Transplant/HPA Epidemiology Unit has recently its seventh annual review, called "Safe supplies: focusing on epidemiology".
The report describes infections among blood and tissue donors and transfusion recipients during 2010.
During 2010, almost 2.5 million blood donations were tested in the UK, of which 286 tested positive for one or more of the mandatory markers of infection (HBV, HCV, HIV, HTLV and treponemal antibodies), equivalent to 11.7 confirmed positive donations per 100,000; almost half that seen in 1996 (19.9) . New donors were more likely to test positive than repeat donors, and accounted for four out of every five confirmed positive donations, yet they represented only one in 10 blood donors.
The report contains some interesting statistics.
In the UK, hepatitis B (HBV) was the most frequently detected infection in blood donors with 91 donors testing positive for HBV, 7% of which were classified as acute infections. Markers of hepatitis C (HCV) infection were detected in 80 donors, including 10 donors who had been tested in the previous three years ie seroconversions. The number of donors testing positive for treponemal antibodies remains at a similar rate year-on-year, during 2010, 75 donors tested positive, however, these results reflected past infections. No acute syphilis infections were identified in 2010. HIV and HTLV infections were identified in a small number of donors. A total of 18 donors tested positive for HIV infection of whom 17 were male. HTLV infection was reported in 22 donors, of whom 80% were female, and four classified as seroconversions.
To read the report, visit: blood risks

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