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Platelet transfusion-associated bacterial sepsis cases reported in Utah and California

Mehrere Fälle von TK-transfusionsassoziierter bakterieller Sepsis in Utah und Kalifornien2

The US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently published details related to fatal sepsis cases that resulted from bacterially contaminated conventional platelet components. Two separate clusters of platelet transfusion-associated bacterial sepsis were reported in Utah and California, resulting in three patient deaths, despite current safety measures.
These events highlight the fact that even when adhering to current procedures, the risks for a transfusion-related infection are very real and potentially fatal.

The report states that transfusion-transmitted bacterial infections are likely underdiagnosed because recipients are often given broad spectrum antibiotics or have underlying medical conditions that increase sepsis risk, or the septic reaction might not be attributed to the transfusion. It further recommends that blood suppliers and hospitals consider additional mitigation strategies, including pathogen inactivation.

The cases were recently published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report1.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Implementation of evidence-based strategies, including pathogen inactivation, rapid detection devices, and modified screening of bacterial culture protocols can mitigate the risk for bacterial contamination of platelets.

While in the hospital, the ultimate priority should be safeguarding patients. INTERCEPTTM Blood System for Platelets can be that life-saving device, helping to improve patient outcomes.

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1Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Vol. 67 / No. 25. The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Series is prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is available free of charge in electronic format.