No evidence of SARS-CoV-2 transmission through transfusion of human blood products: A systematic review

EJHaem. 2021 Jul 19;2(3):601-606. doi: 10.1002/jha2.263. eCollection 2021 Aug.


The presence of viral nucleic material in the circulation poses a theoretical risk of transmission through transfusion. However, little is known about the possibility of the actual transmission through transfusion or transplantation of blood products. A PROSPERO registered systematic review pooled evidence from PubMed/MEDLINE, Google Scholar and CINAHL. The search included studies on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission through human blood products. In total 537 studies were extracted, and only eight articles (1.5%) were eligible for the final analysis. A total of 14 patients received blood products from coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) virus-positive donors, and six (42.9%) tested negative for COVID-19 RT-PCR for up to 14 days post-transfusion/transplantation. There were no documented clinical details on the COVID-19 test for eight (57.1%) blood products recipients. Of the eight patients, none of them developed any COVID-19-related symptoms. In conclusion, there is limited evidence of transfusion transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via human blood products. Consolidation of further evidence, as it emerges, is warranted.

Keywords: SARS‐CoV‐2; blood; blood products; bone marrow; covid‐19; haematopoietic stem cells; transfusion; transmission.

Publication types

  • Review