Blood screening is a medical procedure in which blood is scanned to examine for a certain disease or illness. Although this practice may be done for a variety of reasons, the most common include Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) screening, pregnancy screening, and blood type screening. Blood screening may also be required to check for things like general infections and cancer. Additionally, all blood is cautiously screened for serious diseases like HIV or Hepatitis when it is donated to a blood bank.
Before the screening, the patient is generally required to visit a doctor’s office or hospital in order to have blood drawn. This is done by injecting a needle into the patient’s arm, generally in the fold of the elbow. The needle is attached to a vial which is used to collect the blood, and can be detached if more than one vial is needed if multiple screenings are to be done. Most of the time, the patient only has to have the needle inserted only once.
An HIV blood screening is used to identify the presence of the virus which causes AIDS. HIV screenings are fairly precise, although it can take from three months to one year after exposure before the virus can be identified in some individuals. Those who got their test positive will likely be screened once again to ensure if the results are accurate or not. If a test gives positive result again, the patient is notified so that treatment can be begun.
The screening of donated blood and the confinement of blood and blood components represents critical procedures that must be followed to ensure if the blood units are safe or not. Established on the screening results, they should either be released for clinical or manufacturing use or be cast-off. Laboratory screening for TTIs should be done on blood samples collected at the time of donation. All tests on blood samples should be executed and recorded in harmony with standardized processes in laboratories that are accurately equipped to undertake them.
All blood samples, donations and components should be labeled accurately to ensure correct identification throughout the screening process. The BTS should also have proper, ratified systems for linking all test results to the correct donations and donors so that donors’ records can be reviewed each time they come to donate. These systems will ensure that the correct results are allotted to each donation and prevent errors resulting in the transfusion of an unsafe unit.
Laboratory staff should always obey to the national screening strategy, algorithm and systematized procedures when conducting the tests and analyzing the results. The performance of laboratory tests in a quality atmosphere with proficient staff and a functional documentation system will lessen the risk of analytical and transcription errors, mainly false negative results.
The objective of blood screening is to identify markers of infection in order to get rid of the release of infected blood and blood constituents for clinical use. Blood screening approaches are designed to assure the protection of blood units, but should not be used for notifying blood donors of reactive test results. The appropriate confirmatory testing scheme for blood donor management should be applied before notifying donors of their infectivity status. The results of all tests performed for infection markers for TTIs and blood group serology should be assessed when making final conclusions on the release of blood units for therapeutic use.