Donor disclosure – a donor's right and blood bank's responsibility

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Informing blood donors about their reactive test results of viral transfusion transmissible infections (TTI) is an important aspect of donor care. Rotary Bangalore TTK Blood Bank offers counseling and referrals to donors to enable them to avail of timely treatment options. Recognizing that donor disclosure is an important public health issue that especially impacts blood safety, we started a program for donor disclosure, counseling and referrals. The number of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay reactive units in our blood bank in 2007 and 2008 were 0.78% [hepatitis B virus (HBV)], 0.12% [human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)], 0.18% [hepatitis C virus (HCV)], and 0.73% (HBV), 0.16% (HIV) and 0.18% (HCV), respectively. The reactive donors were informed of their test results and called for counseling.

Overall, 41.18% and 48.17% of HBV reactive donors attended counseling in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Only 11.11% and 16.22% of HIV reactive donors attending counseling in 2007 and 2008, respectively. The HCV reactive donors who attended counseling were 14.63% for both years. All reactive donors who attended counseling were referred to gastroenterologist or physician for confirmatory testing and further management. This study describes our experiences in counseling donors who were enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay reactive for viral TTI, and challenges faced in implementing the donor disclosure program in a resource-limited environment.

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