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Blood Donations

Blood Donations

Sample Answer 

Blood Donations

Bloodstream infections tend to be fatal. They are a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States (Seifert, 2009). During blood donations, one of the leading objectives of most of the procedures is to avoid infections. However, according to recent findings by Damgaard et al. (2015), there may be a potential risk of bacterial infections during blood donation. In a study of bacterial contamination of blood donations, Damgaard et al. (2015) found that the plasma or red blood cells of approximately 62% of donations contain viable bacteria. The growth of the bacteria was evident in a big percentage of the tested blood. The problem is that common blood testing methods may sometimes fail to detect the presence of the bacteria. As a result, there is a high risk of transfusing contaminated blood to patients.

The transfusion of contaminated blood poses significant risks to sick people. Bacteria grow very fast. When introduced into the body of a sick person, it has the potential to cause serious infections that can lead to death at a very fast rate. In spite of the availability of a broad range of antimicrobial treatments for various infections, bloodstream infections tend to be harder to treat in time (Franco-Paredes, 2016); thus, causing a high mortality rate. Therefore, the issues raised by Damgaard et al. (2015) require attention in the medical field. It is important that new ways of detecting the presence of viable bacteria in the blood are developed. This will help to improve the safety of blood transfusions and possibly reduce the rates of post-transfusion infections.


Damgaard, C., Magnussen, K., Enevold, C., Nilsson, M., Tolker-Nielsen, T., Holmstrup, P., & Nielsen, C. H. (2015). Viable bacteria associated with red blood cells and plasma in freshly drawn blood donations. PLoS One, 10(3), e0120826.

Franco-Paredes, C. (2016). Core Concepts in Clinical Infectious Diseases (CCCID). Academic Press.

Seifert, H. (2009). The clinical importance of microbiological findings in the diagnosis and management of bloodstream infections. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 48(Supplement_4), S238-S245.


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Blood Donations

The article below discusses recent research conducted in Denmark. The purpose was to determine how frequently viable bacteria were detected in donated blood units. Over 50% of the donated blood units had bacterial growth. The researchers conclude that insufficient methods to detect bacteria are being used and this contaminated blood is being transfused into patients. Discuss your thoughts on the article and include possible outcomes of this bacterial presence in donated blood.

Blood Donations

Blood Donations

Article Link Below:

Damgaard, C., Magnussen, K., Enevold, C., Nilsson, M., Tolker-Nielsen, T., Holmstrup, P., & Nielsen, C. H. (2015). Viable bacteria associated with red blood cells and plasma in freshly drawn blood donations. PLoS One, 10(3), e0120826.

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