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Transfusion-transmitted Infections reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network Hemovigilance Module
  • Published Date:
    January 25 2019
  • Source:
    Transfus Med Rev. 33(2):84-91
  • Language:

Public Access Version Available on: April 01, 2020, 12:00 AM information icon
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  • Alternative Title:
    Transfus Med Rev
  • Description:

    Transfusion-transmitted infections (TTI) can be severe and result in death. Transfusion-transmitted viral pathogen transmission has been substantially reduced, whereas sepsis due to bacterial contamination of platelets and transfusion-transmitted babesiosis may occur more frequently. Quantifying the burden of TTI is important to develop targeted interventions.

    Study design and Methods:

    From January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2016, healthcare facilities participating in the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Hemovigilance Module (HM) monitored transfusion recipients for evidence of TTI and recorded the total number of units transfused. Facilities use standard criteria to report TTIs. Incidence rates of TTIs, including for bacterial contamination of platelets and transfusion-transmitted babesiosis are presented.


    One hundred ninety-five facilities reported 111 TTIs and 7.9 million transfused components to the NHSN HM. Of these 111 reports, 54 met inclusion criteria. The most frequently reported pathogens were Babesia spp. in RBCs (16/23, 70%) and Staphylococcus aureus in platelets (12/30, 40%). There were 1.95 (26 apheresis, 4 whole blood derived) TTI per 100,000 transfused platelet units and 0.53 TTI per 100,000 transfused RBC components, compared to 0.68 TTI per 100,000 all transfused components.


    Bacterial contamination of platelets and transfusion-transmitted babesiosis were the most frequently reported TTIs. Interventions that reduce the burden of bacterial contamination of platelets, particularly collected by apheresis, and Babesia transmission through RBC transfusion would reduce transfusion recipient morbidity and mortality. These analyses demonstrate the value and importance of facility participation in national recipient hemovigilance using standard reporting criteria.

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