Shahtaj Khan*, Farah Faqir**, Noor Rehman***, Fazle Raziq*,
* Department of Pathology, Hematology Division Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar
** Department of Pathology, Microbiology Division. Bacha Khan Medical College, Mardan
*** North West General Hospital and Research Center Peshawar
Background: Selection of voluntary blood donors who are at low risk of transfusion-transmitted infections
is essential in maintaining the safety of the blood supply. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the
predonation screening process may offer opportunities to further improve transfusion safety.
Objective: To perform predonation screening of blood donors for transfusion transmitted infections.
Material and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in North West General
Hospital and research center, Peshawar between May 2009 and October 2010. Predonation screening
was performed by Immunochromatographic method for Hepatitis B surface antigen (HbsAg), Hepatitis
C antibody (HCV Ab), Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), syphilis by Venereal Disease Research
Laboratories (VDRL) and malarial parasites by Giemsa stained peripheral blood film. Blood was collected
in triple bags from all the donors initially found negative on primary screening.
Results: A total of 1600 donors were tested, of these 113 (7.06%) were reactive for transfusiontransmitted
infections. This comprised 50 (3.12%)cases positive for the presence of HbsAg, 23 (1.43%)
cases positive for the presence of HCV Ab, 6 (0.37%) cases positive for the presence of HIV, 32 (2%) cases
positive for VDRL, and 2 (0.12%) cases for gametocyte of Plasmodium falciparum.
Conclusion: The 113 reactive cases of transfusion-transmitted infections affirm the effectiveness of
current donor selection by predonation screening in reducing the residual risk of transfusiontransmitted
infections, saving the cost of bags and added cost of decreased number of advanced screening
in donor bags.
Key words: Transfusion transmitted infection, donor screening, HIV, HCV, HBsAg, VDRL, malaria