FDA is responsible for ensuring the safety of the Nation's blood supply. While a blood supply with zero risk of transmitting infectious disease may not be possible, there are several measures taken by FDA to protect and enhance the safety of blood products.
The blood safety system established by FDA is dependent upon: 1) accurate and complete educational material for donors so that they can assess their risk; 2) sensitive communication of the donor screening questions; 3) donor understanding and honesty; 4) quality controlled infectious marker testing procedures; and 5) appropriate handling and distribution of blood and blood products for patient use. Because of the improvements in donor screening procedures and the use of a variety of new tests in the last few years, the blood supply is safer from infectious diseases than it has been at any other time.
Implementation of Acceptable Full-Length and Abbreviated Donor History Questionnaires and Accompanying Materials for Use in Screening Donors of Blood and Blood Components; Guidance for Industry(PDF - 116KB) Bar Code Label Requirements for Blood and Blood Components Questions and Answers Revised Recommendations for Reducing the Risk of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission by Blood and Blood Products - Questions and Answers Blood Information & Recommendations Donating Blood Questions and Answers Roche Molecular Systems COBAS Ampliscreen HBV Test Implementation Questions and Answers[ARCHIVED] HIV Home Test Kits Questions and Answers on FDA Guidance Entitled "Recommendations for Deferral of Donors and Quarantine and Retrieval of Blood and Blood Products in Recent Recipients of Smallpox Vaccine (Vaccinia Virus) and Certain Contacts of Smallpox Vaccine Recipients" Question and Answer on FDA Guidance Entitled "Recommendations for the Assessment of Donor Suitability and Blood and Blood Product Safety in Cases of Suspected and Probable Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) or Exposure to SARS" Questions and Answers on Guidance for Industry: Revised Preventive Measures to Reduce the Possible Risk of Transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) by Blood and Blood Products[ARCHIVED] Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) and Factor VIII (pdFVIII) Questions and Answers Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) and Factor XI (pdFXI) Questions and Answers Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) and Plasma Derivatives Other than Factor VIII (pdFVIII) Questions and Answers