Sepsis caused by the bacterial contamination of blood products is a major infection risk associated with blood transfusion. Diversion of the initial 25 mL of blood and prestorage leukoreduction were implemented in Japan in 2007 for all donated blood products. We assessed the efficacy of these new collection procedures in preventing bacterial contamination of red blood cell (RBC) concentrates.Methods:
Broad-range 16S ribosomal RNA polymerase chain reaction was used to determine bacterial contamination in segment samples of RBCs before and after implementation of the new collection procedures. To evaluate whether these new procedures reduced bacterial contamination, we compared bacterial contamination rates of blood samples from diversion pouches with those of segment samples from the same donor's RBCs.Results:
The rate of bacterial contamination of RBCs before implementation of the new collection procedures was 1·27%. Most of the isolated bacteria were Staphylococcus epidermidis or Propionibacterium acnes. After implementation, this rate was significantly reduced to 0·10%. Of the 233 whole blood samples obtained from the Mie Red Cross Blood Center, 1·72% of blood samples from diversion pouches were contaminated, but no bacterial contamination was detected in segment samples from the same donor's RBCs after prestorage leukoreduction.Conclusions:
The new collection procedure significantly reduced bacterial contamination of RBC concentrates.