Majority of transfusion-transmissible infections from first-time donors

The report from the Blood Service and the Kirby Institute said the findings highlighted the importance of promoting donor education and limiting the manufacture of some blood components from first-time donors.

Although they only represent 17% of the donor population, they contributed 89% of all transfusion-transmissible infections between 2005 and 2010.

Almost a quarter of positive donors were described as ‘non-compliant’, in that they had risk factors identified during their post-donation interview that would have prevented them from donating had they disclosed it at their pre-donation interview.

Most non-compliant positive donors identified between 2008 and 2010 had a history of intravenous drug use (65.9%). Other reasons identified were known status of previously being positive for a virus (20.8%), male-to-male sexual contact within the last 12 months (5.2%) and having a sex partner at risk or known to be positive for any transfusion