Information for Life - BloodBook.com

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In the United States, the tests performed on donated Blood are determined by tradition, need, experience, cost of the tests, profitability, and local conditions that may exist at any given time. There are three main conditions that control Blood tests on donated Blood: politics of the moment, the honesty of the potential Blood donor in the pre-donation interview, and often the overriding factor, the cost of the tests on the donated Blood themselves. Generally, after Blood is donated, it is tested in an accredited laboratory to certify the suitability for use in the transfusion and Blood product 'pool' of Blood. In the United States the testing standards are established by the FDA.

The FDA outlines their Blood safety system as having five "layers of safeguards" that start at the Blood collection center and extend to the Blood product manufacturers and then on to the distributors of Blood products. The following rules apply in the United States.

Donor screening - Those who wish to donate Blood must answer questions about their health, lifestyle and risk factors. A donor center employee then interviews potential donors regarding their medical history. Based on the answers given, a deferral or exclusion of the candidate may be made. This process depends on the honesty of the candidate Blood donor.

Potential Blood and Blood product donors can be temporarily deferred (excluded from donating Blood for a pre-defined period of time) for a number of reasons. Potential Blood donors may be permanently excluded from donating Blood for other reasons. Please view our comprehensive Blood Donor Requirement Lists of guidelines.  Coupons for free Blood testing and get free Blood test results.

Blood testing - After donation, the Blood is tested for such blood-borne agents as HIV, hepatitis and syphilis. (see details below) Free Cord Blood Registry and Cord Blood Bank.

Blood Donor lists - Blood collection establishments must keep current a list of deferred Blood donors and check Blood donor names against that list. It is unfortunate that, as of this writing, this is not a nation wide coordinated database.   Coupons for free Cord Blood Registry.

Quarantine of untested Blood - Blood and Blood products are not available for general use until the Blood products have been thoroughly tested. "Thoroughly" is defined as that which the FDA recommends as of that date. Again, testing standards are determined by tradition, need, experience, local conditions that may exist at any given time, politics of the moment, the honesty of the donor in the pre-donation interview, and the cost of the tests on the donated Blood. 

Investigation of Donated Blood problems - Blood establishments, by law, must investigate any breaches of safeguards and then correct all deficiencies. FDA licensed Blood facilities must report any manufacturing problems, errors or accidents that may affect the safety and purity or potency of their products to the FDA. Registered firms, although not required to report problems, are required to thoroughly investigate problems and maintain accurate records for FDA to review during an annual inspection. This system, now in place in the United States, has some understandable potential problems.

Errors or accidents can result from improper testing, incorrect labeling of Blood components, improper interpretation of test results, equipment failure or mis-calibration, improper use of equipment or failure to follow the manufacturers' directions for its use, or accepting units from unsuitable donors.

In all fairness, we are fully aware that the FDA has a near impossible task. Congress and the public points fingers. There are cost considerations, and there is an ever-increasing and ever more sophisticated demand for a perfect Blood supply. Further, making matters worse, is the burden of testing for often unknown diseases.  Coupons for free Blood tests and free Blood test results.

After all of the above, which is almost always a pleasant experience, the Blood donation takes place. The donor collects the t-shirt and lollypop and goes on their merry way with the really good feeling of having done a very good thing.

Often, as a special benefit to the donor, many Blood collection centers will check your cholesterol level, and the results will be mailed to you within a few weeks of your donation. Also, a Blood Type ID Card will be mailed to first-time donors. This card is something that every living human should carry at all times. Knowing your Blood type in an emergency can easily save your life, or in an extreme case, someone else's.

Order a Blood Test Kit here.

Free Blood test information from the Bloodmobile; CLICK HERE.

In the United States, at the time of this writing, before your donated Blood is made available for transfusion, it will be tested as follows: Get a Blood Test Kit.

ABO Typing - provides determination of Blood type: A, B, O, or AB.

Rh Factor Determination - indicates positive or negative Blood type.

Blood Group Antibodies - indicates unexpected antibodies that may be a result of prior transfusion, pregnancy or other factors.

Hepatitis B Surface Antigen - indicates a present infection (hepatitis) or carrier state of hepatitis B virus.

Antibody to Hepatitis B Core - additional test that detects a present or past infection with the hepatitis B virus.

Antibody to Hepatitis C Virus - indicates antibody to a virus that causes hepatitis C (responsible for non-A non-B hepatitis.) The mean incubation time is six to eight weeks.

Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) - identifies a liver enzyme that, when increased, may indicate undetectable forms of hepatitis.

Antibody to HTLV - 1 and 2 - indicates the antibody to a virus that causes adult T-cell leukemia, among other things.

Antibody to HIV 1 and 2 - indicates an infection with Human Immune deficiency Virus.

Syphilis - screens for this dangerous venereal disease.

The following tests, that are not required for most transfusions, are often performed on Blood that may be needed for newborns and special needs patients :

Antibody to Cytomegalovirus (CMV) - Screening for the antibody to cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is a very common virus in our environment, is performed on products intended for immunocompromised recipients such as patients undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia or cancer, transplant patients, and low birth-weight infants.

Sickle Cell Trait - indicates a genetic red Blood cell abnormality.

In 1999, Blood collecting organizations began the study of a new test for HIV and hepatitis C called nucleic acid amplification (NAT), designed to detect portions of the actual virus itself. Based on preliminary data, it is hoped this test will further shorten the 'window period' for these viruses. This will improve Blood safety and shorten the time that it takes to get Blood and Blood products from donation to transfusion.

Often, but not always, Blood donors are notified about results of these required tests if a problem is detected during testing. We believe that this notification should be mandatory within five days of completion of testing. This notification would allow a Blood donor with a possible problem the opportunity to seek treatment, or clarify an anomaly or mistake in the test or the test procedure period-red.gif (63 bytes)

Visit our other Blood test related pages for more information on Blood Testing.

Link - BloodBook.com Blood Test Kits Link - BloodBook.com
Link - BloodBook.com Personal Blood Testing Link - BloodBook.com
Link - BloodBook.com Preparing for Blood Testing Link - BloodBook.com
Link - BloodBook.com What Does My Blood Test Mean Link - BloodBook.com
Link - BloodBook.com Blood Test Reference/Range Chart Link - BloodBook.com
Link - BloodBook.com Blood Testing and Sampling Kits Link - BloodBook.com

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   last updated 03/10/2013   bloodbook.com