Detection of Disease: Possibilities and Limitations
Much has and can be done to make blood transfusion as safe as possible. These include preventive measures beginning with donor education, screening, selection and deferral procedures, post-donation product quarantine and donor tracing when transmission of an infectious agent occurred. In addition we can test the blood for the presence of infectious agents. We can also use inactivation methods like solvent and detergent, or replace the use of blood by alternatives such as recombinant products, for instance clotting factor VIII or IX or the use of blood substitutes. In this paper we will further focus on the screening of blood for infectious agents. At the end it will be clear that blood safety is not equal to the detection of an infectious agent. In order to come as close as possible to the detection of disease the decision to screen for infectious agents should be based on certain principles which will be discussed later.
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