Health Topic

Transfusion Safety

Blood is a crucial healthcare resource and can save lives

Every year worldwide there are over 164 million blood and plasma donations that are commonly used in supportive care for cardiovascular and transplant surgery patients, trauma victims, and those undergoing cancer therapy.1,2 Ensuring access to a sufficient and safe supply of blood and blood-derived products is an international health priority that has been highlighted by the World Health Organization since 1975.3

Roche is a trusted partner for screening centers, with about one third of blood and plasma donated worldwide using blood safety solutions from Roche.4


One blood donation has the potential to save 3 lives5


Blood transfusion safety relies heavily on the accurate and timely screening of blood for transmissible infections. In addition, pathogens evolve and new ones emerge, demanding the need for continuous and robust test innovation and development. Safe blood transfusions save and transform lives.

Can a single screening test detect pathogens at all stages of infection and be highly specific?

The answer is complex. Some tests can detect pathogens when they are at an advanced stage while others can detect them when they are still at early stages of infection. Some results need retesting and confirmation using other types of assays and some don’t. A combination of different types of assays may sometimes be required to detect all pathogens. For example, Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) and serology assays individually can be very specific and sensitive, but in many instances, they can complement each other for a complete diagnosis.

In an emergency, being prepared and able to provide rapid solutions is everything

In this connected world, it doesn’t take a long time for an infection to become pandemic. For example, the Zika virus became a world health emergency within a year of its emergence. With its rapid spread across the world, there was an urgent need for a diagnostic test to detect the virus in the donor population to keep the blood supply safe. In the U.S. the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a guidance in prohibiting blood transfusions with blood collected from Zika virus affected areas.

See how Roche developed a rapid investigative test to detect Zika virus within 10 weeks after the guidance was issued.

Connected labs. Complete solutions.

With over 30 years in diagnostic assays, automated solutions and providing connected labs, Roche offers the most comprehensive screening solution on the market today.5 We are the trusted partner for screening centers, and is the only single provider for Serology, Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT), Lab Automation and IT for blood centers and blood fractionators worldwide.6

Products of the Roche blood safety solutions portfolio are not commercially available in all regions. Please contact your local Roche representative regarding availability.
  1. World Health Organization. Blood Safety and Availability 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2018 from:
  2. Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2018 from:
  3. World Health Organization. Global Status Report on Blood Safety and Availability 2016.
  4. Data on file.
  5. American Red Cross Blood Services. Retrieved on 18 June 2018 from:
  6. Data on file. Roche Diagnostics International Ltd.
Found 0 results in