Blood Safety

Blood transfusion and HIV

Blood transfusions always carry certain risks, but HIV transmission through blood transfusion can virtually be prevented. This can be achieved by setting up and maintaining a safe blood transfusion system and by using the blood appropriately. It is to be ensured always that the blood is screened for the presence of Transfusion Transmitted Infections (TTI) such as HIV, Hepatitis, Malaria or the presence of rare anti bodies.

Chance for the transmission of HIV through HIV infected blood transfusion is 100%.   

It is mandatory to screen all donated blood for HIV, HBV, HCV and Malarial parasite. In addition to this both doctor and patient must be aware that blood should be used only when the transfusion is necessary.

Measures to assure blood safety
Transfusion of adequate quantities of safe blood, when and where required is an important strategy for reducing Transfusion Transmitted Infections.

Safe blood means:

  • Blood which will not transmit infections,
  • Blood which will not cause any adverse reactions.
  • Blood which will serve the purpose for which it is transfused

Quality control is to prevent Transfusion Transmitted Infections by

  • Collecting blood only from healthy volunteers.
  • Subjecting all donors to a thorough pre-donation evaluation.
  • Screening all donated blood for various infectious diseases.

Blood is a scarce resource; therefore the utility of blood has to be maximized by

  • Converting blood into its components and thereby ensuring, each patient receives only the required component and required unit.
  • Quality management for efficient transfusion service.

Are there people who should never donate blood?
People suffering from heart trouble, hypertension, diabetes, those undergoing treatment for mental disorders, patients suffering from epilepsy, cancer, liver disorders, carriers of hepatitis B/C and HIV/AIDS patients

Blood Banks in the State 
There are 160 licensed blood banks in the state, out of which, 32 are in the government sector, 7 in the co-operative sector and the remaining 121 in the private sector. And there are 35 Blood Component Separation Units in the private sector and 9 in the government sector. Still, the volume of blood donated is not sufficient to meet the requirement. Moreover, of the total 3, 36,331 units of blood collected in the state, only 28% is donated from voluntary donors. Voluntary blood donation is to be stepped up greatly, through a system of regular blood donation camps, held in every district, to ensure that this is raised to 60% by 2009. The network of blood banks is to be expanded by providing blood storage facilities in the First Referral Units to make blood is available in the rural areas.

In the NACP III programme, a pragmatic approach is planned including, setting up of a Model blood bank, up gradation of more blood banks with blood Component Separation facilities, strengthening the infrastructure of existing blood banks, implementing a mechanism for cold chain transport of blood, from Regional blood transfusion centres to blood storage centres, and capacity building by providing training to blood bank personnel. Kerala state AIDS control Society is proposed for a State Blood Service, which will provide quality blood to every needy patient at any time anywhere in the state. It is not the responsibility of the patient or his bystanders to find blood donors or blood but it is the responsibility of the society to provide blood to the needy one.