Transfusion Safety Decisions in the 1990s: Reactions to the Past
The current process of blood safety related decision-making has been strongly influenced by events of the mid to late 1980s. Retrospective analyses of these events has been undertaken by governmental bodies in developed countries throughout the world [1,2]. These analyses have applied the current state of knowledge about the magnitude and severity of transfusion-transmitted AIDS and non-A non-B hepatitis to decisions made in the 1980s. This has resulted in criticism of national blood service organisations, some appropriate and some inappropriate, for various activities during this time frame including: failure to communicate accurate information about transfusion risks to the public, failure to directly question donors about male to male sexual activity, failure to implement anti-HBc testing as a surrogate for AIDS carrier state, unnecessary delays in implementing HIV antibody assays, delays in abandoning the use of blood derivative products that had not undergone viral inactivation, failure to implement surrogate testing for non-A non-B hepatitis and delays in implementing HCV antibody assays. These official criticisms have been influenced and exacerbated by stories in the print and broadcast media, by plaintiff driven litigation and even by criminal prosecution .
KeywordsNucleic Acid Testing Blood Safety Blood Service Transfusion Recipient Transfusion Risk
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