International survey on definitions and current practices in prevention, diagnosis, management and reporting of transfusion-transmitted bacterial infections.

E. Chew, R. J. Benjamin, C. P. McDonald, J. C. Wiersum-Osselton, E. M. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background and objectives
Transfusion-transmitted bacterial infections (TTBI) remain a threat to safe blood transfusion. Currently, there is no consensus on the definition, presentation, management and prevention of TTBI. A common set of criteria would facilitate haemovigilance and benchmarking. An international survey to assess current practices in TTBI was performed as part of efforts in developing an accepted TTBI definition.

Material and Methods
After a pilot study, the questionnaire was sent via a web-based survey ( to members of the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) Working Parties on Transfusion-Transmitted Infectious Diseases (bacterial subgroup) and Haemovigilance as well as members of the transfusion community with an interest in transfusion safety.

Results from 58 respondents in 39 countries were available. Twenty-seven countries had a haemovigilance programme. A TTBI definition was available from 27 respondents (17 countries). The reported clinical presentation and management of TTBI, and procedures to prevent bacterial contamination and screening of blood products varied amongst the respondents. The most frequently cited signs of a TTBI were fever, tachycardia, rigours and hypotension. Common methods to prevent bacterial contamination of blood products included donor health questionnaire, skin disinfection prior to blood collection and use of a diversion pouch. Routine bacterial screening of blood products was performed in 19 countries.

This survey highlighted the different practices in TTBI globally and provides a baseline for ongoing endeavours to harmonize TTBI definitions and management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-40
Number of pages10
JournalISBT Science Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

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