Current safety of the blood supply in the United States

Int J Hematol. 2004 Nov;80(4):301-5. doi: 10.1532/ijh97.04123.


In common with other developed countries, the United States has placed a great deal of emphasis on blood safety. As a result of careful donor selection and the use of advanced tests, including nucleic acid testing (NAT), the risk of transmission of human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus has been reduced to about 1 in 1.5 million donations. NAT for hepatitis B virus has not been introduced, but nevertheless the risk is low. Attention recently has been focused on emerging infections. NAT for West Nile virus was implemented within 6 to 8 months of recognition of the need to prevent transfusion transmission of this newly introduced virus. Approximately 1000 potentially infectious donations were identified and removed from the blood supply during the 2003 season. Other emerging infections attracting attention include Chagas' disease, babesiosis, malaria, and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Banks / standards*
  • Blood Banks / statistics & numerical data
  • Blood-Borne Pathogens / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Infections / epidemiology*
  • Infections / transmission*
  • Safety
  • United States / epidemiology