All blood transfused in Canada is collected from volunteer donors. To ensure the safety of blood components, donors are carefully screened. In addition, the donated blood is tested to identify blood group, blood group antibodies and transfusion-transmissible pathogens. Donor eligibility criteria and testing also benefit the donors by reducing potential blood donation-related health risks.
This chapter describes the donor selection process, the testing done on donated blood, and the pathogen inactivation processes that can further reduce risk of transfusion-transmitted diseases. This chapter is complemented by Chapter 7, Fractionated Blood products and Associated Pathogen Safety, and Chapter 8, Pre-transfusion Testing, of this Guide.