ZocdocAnswersDo blood donation centers screen for diseases?

Question

Do blood donation centers screen for diseases?

Tomorrow I'm going to donate blood. Do they check to see if you're healthy before they withdraw blood from you? How else would they know? I don't want to get/give a disease to anyone.

Answer

Blood donation centers use a very strict set of criteria and screening processes to ensure that the blood collected is at the lowest possible risk of posing any kind of danger when it is later provided in a transfusion. Donors will be asked to complete a questionnaire prior to giving blood, which will ask them about various activities such as travel to foreign countries and use of intravenous drugs. Those donors that admit to engaging in activities that put them at higher risk of having contracted blood-borne illnesses will not be eligible to donate. All the blood that is collected is put through a very rigorous collection of very sensitive screening tests to pick up a variety of infections, including HIV and Hepatitis viruses. If donated blood is found to be contaminated with a disease, then the donor will be contacted in a confidential manner and his/her blood will not be used for transfusions. Please talk to your doctor if you would like to be screened for blood-borne illnesses.

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