Gilbert's syndrome in healthy blood donors what next??

Asian J Transfus Sci. Jan-Jun 2016;10(1):63-6. doi: 10.4103/0973-6247.165835.


Settings: This study was done in a tertiary care hospital having bed strength of more than 700 beds at SDM Medical College of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Dharwad, located in Northern Karnataka.

Aim: The study was done to ascertain prevalence of Gilbert's syndrome in healthy blood donors and review the literature about feasibility of utilizing blood components from Gilbert's syndrome donors.

Materials and methods: The study was done for 18 months and 7030 whole blood units were collected and all the units were subjected to mandatory transfusion-transmitted screening and all the plasma bags which were icteric on visual inspection were subjected to hematological and biochemical investigations to rule out other causes of hyperbilirubinemia.

Results: Seven thousand and thirty units were collected and 445 (6.3%) were discarded due to various reasons. Of them, 50 units (0.71%) had Gilbert's syndrome. All had unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia and other hematological and liver function tests were within normal range. Statistical analysis was done to find mean, median, and standard deviation from mean and standard error of mean with lower and upper confidence limits.

Conclusion: Majority of blood donors whose plasma is icteric are suffering from Gilbert's syndrome (GS). This disease does not cause any harm to donor or patient but raises a lot of concern as many severe disorders also manifest in similar way. The available literature shows that all blood components can be used from donors suffering from GS. There should be introspection. Proper guidelines are to be framed about the use and discarding of blood components in donors with GS.

Keywords: Blood safety; Gilbert's syndrome; fresh frozen plasma; hyperbilirubinemia; jaundice.