Blood withdrawn because of West Nile risk

Blood withdrawn because of West Nile risk The American Association of Blood Banks, America's Blood Centers, Department of Defense, and the American Red Cross have been advised to voluntarily withdraw selected blood products to mitigate the risk of transmission of West Nile Virus (WNV) through blood transfusions. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers this a standard of practice under Good Manufacturing Practices.

The Siouxland Community Blood Bank is joining other blood banks across the nation in initiating a voluntary withdrawal of the affected blood products. Blood collected from July 21 to Nov. 4 in the Siouxland, tri-state region are affected by the possibility of mosquito-borne transmission of the West Nile Virus. This blood supply withdraw will include blood already in the blood bank and products that have been shipped to hospitals.��

Although the risk from an individual unit of blood or plasma collected and frozen during the epidemic is likely to be low, the FDA believes that the voluntary withdrawal of certain frozen products is a rational response.

to the risk, said Janette Twait, executive director of the Siouxland Community Blood Bank.

"We are asking blood donors over the next couple months to step forward at local blood drives and help us replenish the blood products withdrawn,"� says Jan Twait.� "A measured response from blood donors would

be important in restocking the blood supply."

The Siouxland Community Blood Bank must collect over 950 donations each week to meet patient needs in 27 hospitals in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.� Blood donors must be at least 17 years of age,

weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, in general good health and have not donated whole blood in the past 56 days.

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