Is It Safe To Donate Blood?

Is It Safe To Donate Blood?

Donating blood is safer today than it has ever been before. Miller-Keystone Blood Center follows five layers of safety procedures:

1. Careful donor eligibility standards
Individual screening process
3. Laboratory testing of all blood samples
4. Confidential exclusion of ineligible donors
5. Donor record checks

Miller-Keystone works with government and regulatory agencies to ensure a safe and adequate blood supply by implementing up to date donor screening requirements, utilizing the latest infectious disease tests, adhering to good manufacturing practices, and the ability to track blood products from collection to distribution.

Can I get HIV from donating blood?
No – you cannot contract HIV or other viral diseases by giving blood. Aseptic procedures and single use disposable equipment are used in all Miller-Keystone Donor Centers and Blood Drives. Each needle is used once and then safely discarded and disposed.

What tests are administered to ensure that my blood is safe for transfusion to patients?
Approximately 12 tests are performed on every unit of donated blood. Every donation is screened for the following:

  • ABO and Rh blood types
  • Unexpected red cell antibodies that result from prior transfusions, pregnancy, etc.
  • Antibody to Treponema pallidum (syphilis).
  • Antibody to HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).
  • Antibody to HCV (hepatitis C virus).
  • Antibody to HBC (hepatitis B core antigen).
  • HBsAg (hepatitis B surface antigen).
  • Antibody to HTLV (Human T- Lymphotropic virus).
  • Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas Disease).
  • Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) for HCV, HBV, HIV, West Nile Virus (WNV) and Babesia.

Can I get a free AIDS test when I donate blood?
You should not give blood to get tested for AIDS. Using blood donation as a way to get tested will put the blood supply at risk and endanger the lives of patients in our local hospitals. If you are at risk of getting AIDS or other infectious diseases, do not give blood. Individuals at risk for contracting HIV should contact their local health department for AIDS testing.

If my blood tests positive for disease, will I be informed?
Yes. Donors who are confirmed positive for any abnormalities or infectious disease are notified immediately and offered counseling by Miller-Keystone Blood Center’s Medical Department.

How will Miller-Keystone Blood Center contact me if I have a disease?
Miller-Keystone Blood Center practices strict privacy and confidentiality standards. We may contact you by letter or call to arrange a counseling appointment. We will not disclose information regarding positive blood test results to anyone but the donor without their consent, except as required by law.

What happens if I donate blood and realize afterward that I may have been exposed to HIV or another disease?
If you give blood, but realize later that your blood may not be safe to transfuse, you should call 1-800-B-A-DONOR immediately and inform our Donor Resources Department.  Usually these calls go to the medical department.