All donors and donations are subject to strict screening procedures at Lifeblood to minimise the risk of transmitting infectious agents to patients.
Our mandatory testing includes the screening of donations for the presence of Treponema pallidum (syphilis) and other non-viral infectious agents which are also potentially transmissible by blood transfusion.
However, there are some infectious agents for which routine tests are not readily available to prevent the disease from being transmitted by transfusion. These include Chagas Disease and the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) linked to the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) which is transmitted by a prion.
The residual risk of transfusion transmission varies according to the incidence of the infection in the donor population and the donor screening processes in place.
Screening procedures for donors includes collecting a comprehensive medical and travel history.
This is important to avoid the transmission of infections such as Chagas' disease, which transmitted by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, and is endemic in Central and South America. People born or who have received fresh blood components from these areas are restricted to only donating plasma for fractionation.