If you have ever wondered about the rate of transfusion-transmissible infections in blood donors in Australia you will find the enclosed report very interesting. The report is produced jointly by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and the Surveillance and EvaluationProgram for Public Health at the Kirby Institute.
“it summarises donation testing data and incidence/prevalence trends for transfusion?transmissible infections (TTIs) among Australian blood donors. Information on malaria testing and surveillance activity for emerging infections are also included .
“The vast majority (81%) of TTI’s were identified in first time donors. Reassuringly, the overall infection rate has continued to decline in 2013. Infected first time donors in 2013 mostly had undiagnosed prevalent infections but we continued to identify a small number of recently acquired (incident) infections among repeat donors.
Notably, in 2013 there was a modest increase in incidence of HBV, HCV, and HIV infections in donorscompared to 2012. Incident infections are the most concerning from a blood safety perspective as, in contrast to prevalent infections they are more likely to be in the so called testing ‘window period’ making them undetectable by donation testing. For this reason
the pre?donation questionnaire remains a critical safety procedure and its effectiveness is directly dependent on the accuracy (termed ‘compliance’) of the donor’s answers.”