Approach to new microbial threats to blood safety
Emerging infections have been a focus in blood banking for the last 40 years. Once it was established that donated blood could be a lifesaving therapy, the community has been working to make it a readily available and safe product. Unfortunately, our approach to this safety concern has not always been based on a consistent method and we have frequently failed to consider risk assessment, economic and supply impact, and sustainability. Significant data has been collected over the decades and many researchers have published on these various aspects of blood safety. It is now our responsibility to analyze this information and create a balanced approach that not only neutralizes current infectious diseases, but also secures the safety of the blood supply from emerging threats.