Improvements in platelet bacterial testing to support shelf life extension of Canadian Blood Services platelet products

The Issue

Bacterial contamination of platelet products is a serious concern in transfusion practice because platelet storage conditions allow bacteria to replicate to potentially dangerous levels. Transfusion with contaminated platelets may cause septic reactions, which are very rare but dangerous for patients. At Canadian Blood Services, all platelet products are screened for bacteria, but a low number of contaminated products escape detection. Recently, the bacterial screening procedure was modified and will improve bacterial detection.

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