What is new about this topic: We will compare different international approaches for the deferral of blood donors at risk for malaria and identify novel approaches to reduce future deferrals.
Background: Malaria is a potential cause of transfusion transmitted infection in donors who have travelled within or lived in endemic locations. A key tension is how to balance the protection of the blood supply while avoiding unnecessary blood donor deferrals. A variety of approaches exist internationally. In some jurisdictions (e.g. UK, France, and, Australia), both risk classification and laboratory testing help identify donors to be deferred. Other jurisdictions (US and Canada) use more conservative approaches without laboratory testing. Historically, laboratory testing to guide donor deferrals has been complicated by; serological methodologies that lack sensitivity for all species of Plasmodium, and molecular tests have cannot detect the infectious dose limit of this pathogen. Newer laboratory technologies may help reduce the number of malaria-risk deferrals in the future.
Purpose: This session will; 1) pose key questions about malaria-risk deferrals decision making, 2) compare risk mitigation strategies and decision making approaches, 3) highlight the experiences of a blood banking system that integrates risk-classification and laboratory testing to guide deferral decision making, 4) identify new laboratory processes that may reduce future deferrals, 5) engage participants on the feasibility of different approaches.
Faculty: Dr. Steven J Drews - short introduction of problem, introduction of key session questions, and topic “Novel approaches to testing for malaria in donors.”
Dr. Bryan R. Spencer - American Red Cross Blood Services, Dedham, Massachusetts- “The epidemiology of malaria: impact of travel and immigration on blood donation”
Dr. Sheila F. O’Brien, Associate Director, Epidemiology and Surveillance, Canadian Blood Services- “Overview of risk mitigation strategies and consideration of policy decision making.”
Dr. Pierre Tiberghien, Etablissement Français du Sang, La Plaine Stade de France, France- “The current French experience in risk classification and laboratory testing.”
How objectives will be reached:
The audience will be surveyed on key questions re: malaria-risk deferrals at the start and end of the session as well as before and after each topic.
The session will end with a round table on benefits/drawbacks of different approaches and will engage participants.
Describe the risk of malaria on the blood system in multiple jurisdictions.
Contrast current approaches used in different jurisdictions that employ risk-classification and laboratory testing to guide deferral decision making.
Identify new laboratory processes that may reduce future deferrals.