Blood donors play an integral role in support of the delivery of
modern healthcare. Many life-saving
medical treatments and procedures involve blood transfusions which
would not be possible without a high quality, safe and reliable
In order to ensure the safest and highest quality-blood products to our partner hospitals, Central California Blood Center
(CCBC) incorporates six
layers of safety into our operations and procedures. These six
layers include use of a pre-donation health history screening
questionnaire, state-of-the-art donor laboratory screening, allowing
a donor/donation self exclusion or deferral option, checking all
donors against a registry of historically deferred/disqualified
donors, and transfusion recipient investigations if needed.
Fourteen donor laboratory screening
are performed on every unit of donated blood. Ten of the 14 tests
are now used to detect
infectious diseases, and include tests for evidence of infection
with hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV), West Nile virus (WNV), syphilis, and
others. This laboratory screening process is very effective in
helping to prevent transmission of infectious agents through blood
transfusion to patients requiring blood transfusion therapy.
Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT), the newest testing technology available
in donor laboratory screening, introduced to provide earlier and more sensitive detection of certain
infectious agents, is also in use at CCBC. In July 2003, the blood
industry began donor laboratory screening using a new WNV NAT test.
During the summer months in areas where positive donations have been
recorded, a more sensitive procedure is employed to further reduce the chance of transmission through transfusion.
Also, blood products from
donors who donate and
later develop WNV symptoms of infection will be recalled and
With such attention given to providing safe and high-quality
blood products, we continue serving the community with an
important gift of life.