Managing Recalls and Withdrawals of Blood Components

Glenn Ramsey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Donor centers are issuing a growing number of recalls and market withdrawals to hospital transfusion services about blood components. More than 1 in 2,000 units were recalled in the late 1990s in the United States. The most common reason for these notices from donor centers is postdonation donor information. Most of these units had been transfused, and many present a "risk of a risk" (ie, a problem might have been present that might have affected the recipient). A few regulations and standards address recalls in general terms, but transfusion services generally have wide discretion in the management of specific common recall problems. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now including posttransfusion evaluations in its guidelines for emerging infectious threats to the blood supply. We suggest that hospital transfusion services should have standard operating procedures for managing recalls and that the hospital transfusion committee and the quality management program should provide local input or oversight. Using the FDA's categories of donor center biological product deviations, we provide recommendations to consider for when to notify the recipient's physician, after postdonation information is received about a previously transfused blood component. More study of this important everyday issue in transfusion medicine is highly desirable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-45
Number of pages10
JournalTransfusion Medicine Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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