East African Medical Journal

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Bacterial contamination in platelet concentrates prepared at Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (NRBTC)

M.K. Onchaga, A.M. Mbugua, P.M. Maturi, W Mwanda


Background: Contamination of platelets may result from bacterial inoculation into the blood bags. This is due to insufficient disinfection of the venipuncture site.

Objective: To determine the prevalence of bacterial contamination in platelet concentrates prepared at Nairobi Regional Blood Transfusion Centre (NRBTC).

Study Design: Descriptive cross-sectional study was used.

Setting: The study was conducted at Nairobi Regional Blood Transfusion Centre

Subject: Nighty one (91) platelet concentrates were selected for the study

Results: The prevalence of bacterial contamination was 12.1% (11/91) with 95 CI [5.4%-18.8%]. Out of the 11 concentrates that were contaminated, Staphylococcus epidermis was isolated from 5 units, staphylococcus aureus from 4 units and pseudomonas paucimobilis from 2 units.

Conclusion: The isolates obtained in the donated blood are skin associated organisms and are considered as contaminants related to venepuncture process during the blood donation process. Based on these findings, there is need to review the quality assurance protocol and focus mainly on the venepuncture process.

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