Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hepatitis C Testing

I recently received a question from a friend at a hospital-based donor center regarding re-entry testing for a donor that had a previous reactive test for Hepatitis C virus (HCV). The rules have recently changed regarding how to re-enter people in this situation, so it seemed like a good opportunity to write about the overall HCV testing strategy in U.S. donors, with an emphasis on those recent changes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

CMV, Serologic Testing, and Leukoreduction

For years, blood bankers and physicians have debated the relative merits of preventing CMV infection through the exclusive use of blood from donors who do not have demonstrable anti-CMV antibodies vs. blood that is leukocyte reduced. The data is mixed, and the two methods seem to be nearly equivalent (and imperfect). Why both fail at roughly the same low rate (about 1-4%) has never been particularly clear to me, until recently.

Friday, January 7, 2011


When is a "volunteer" really a volunteer? For blood donor centers, this is a hugely important question to ask, since keeping an all-volunteer blood supply has been considered a mainstay of transfusion medicine for at least the last 25 years. I attended an interesting lecture today given by an incredibly knowledgable person (Gina Ramirez, manager of regulatory affairs) at the blood center where I work, and thought I would share some information from her lecture and my thoughts with you here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fluid Choice for Plasma Exchange

Situation: A blood center receives requests for large volumes of group B plasma from two separate hospitals for plasma exchange. The center supplies plasma in three main forms: 1) Plasma frozen within 24 hours (FP24) from male donors and never-pregnant female donors, 2) FP24 from female previously pregnant donors, and 3) As cryo-reduced plasma, made exclusively from male and never-pregnant female donors.

Welcome to My Blog!

Hi, and welcome to the Blood Bank Guy blog! It is now 2011, and following the lead of my friend Keith Kaplan, MD (, I've decided to dive deeper into the mainstream of the digital world!

I started the Blood Bank Guy website way back in 1998, initially as a way of connecting with the large numbers of people that attended the Osler pathology review course and heard me speak. At the time, what I was doing was pretty "cutting edge" (despite how silly it looks to me when I look back now!).