Malaria and blood transfusion

Robert S. Lewis robert.s.lewis at gte.net
Sat Nov 21 19:12:57 EST 1998


amber wrote:

> I would be very grateful is someone could answer a question for me.
> Is it possible to contract malaria from blood transfusions and if so does
> blood have to be screened for the protozoan in areas where it is endemic.
> I would be very grateful if you could also give any details of mechanisms as
> well.
> This question was prompted due to a question from one of my A level
> students, I told her that i don't think it can be however I would find out
> for certain.  I cannot however find any information - even through the web,
> so anything would be appreciated.
>             Thanks
>                 Amber.

Hi Amber,
   It is EXTREMELY possible to contract malaria from blood transfusions.  The
American Red Cross has strict guidelines on how long a person has to be away
from a malaria-free zone before they can donate blood.  Also, the person is
deferred for three years if they have taken antimalarial drugs (eg. quinine).
When one donates, they are asked what countries they have been to recently and
if they took anything to prevent malaria.  For specifics on ARC regulations, a
great place to post this question is the newsgroup sci.med.laboratory.  They
will be able to quote the regulations verbatim!  I have the regulations but they
are out in the car.  It's too cold to go outside!

Bob Lewis

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