Receiving a platelet transfusion in the UNC Health Care system just got safer.
UNC Health Care has started treating the platelets it gives patients with the INTERCEPT Blood System, which reduces the risk of pathogens being passed from a donor’s platelets to a patient receiving a transfusion.
In the United States, incidences of transfusion-transmitted infections are rare, but according to the UNC Health Care Blood Donation Center, risk from bacteria and emerging pathogens still exists. The overall bacterial contamination rate is one in about every 1,500 platelet units, but people affiliated with the UNC Blood Donation Center said the new technology will eradicate any risk of infection.
“With this process we’ve just adapted, we would be able to cut that completely out,” UNC Blood Donation Center Donor Recruiter Trilby Norton said. “It neutralizes all the pathogens, kills everything in there, but obviously keeps the platelets really safe. It’s a way, way safer product for our patients.”
Norton said even before the Blood Donation Center added the INTERCEPT system, receiving a platelet transfusion was not a risky procedure.