Sufficient blood, safe blood: can we have both?

  • The decision in September 2011 in the UK to accept blood donations from non-practicing men who have sex with men (MSM) has received significant public attention. Will this rule change substantially boost the number of blood donations or will it make our blood less safe? Clearly, most European countries have a blood procurement problem. Fewer young people are donating, while the population is aging and more invasive therapies are requiring more blood. Yet if that was the reason for allowing non-practicing MSM to donate, clearly re-admission of some other, much larger populations that are currently deferred from donation should likewise be considered. As far as risks for blood safety are concerned, evidence has been provided that the current quality of infectious disease marker testing significantly mitigates against, although does not completely eradicate, risks associated with admission of donors with a high risk of carrying certain blood-transmissible agents. However, it could be argued that more effective recruitment of the non-donor pool, which is substantially larger than the group of currently ineligible donors, would be a better strategy. Recruitment of this group will benefit the availability of blood without jeopardizing the current excellent safety profile of blood.

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Author:Halvard-Björn BönigORCiDGND, Michael Schmidt, Michael Kai Hourfar, Jörg Schüttrumpf, Erhard SeifriedORCiD
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):BMC medicine
Place of publication:Berlin ; Heidelberg [u.a.]
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2012/03/23
Year of first Publication:2012
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2012/04/25
Tag:MSM; blood consumption; blood safety; donor deferral; donor recruitment; donor retention
Page Number:4
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 3.0