Bacterial contamination is the presence of bacteria in the blood. Blood should be free of bacteria. Blood is collected and processed under sterile conditions to maintain this aseptic state. Pathogen inactivation through psoralen treatment further reduces the risk of bacterial contamination in platelets. All platelet units not treated with psoralen are tested for bacterial contamination by Canadian Blood Services. Bacterially contaminated blood components should NOT be transfused and any components suspected of bacterial contamination based on a visual inspection, must be reported to Canadian Blood Services using the feedback form on blood.ca. Contact the nearest distribution centre to report potential contamination and receive further instructions.
Possible (though rare) sources of bacterial contamination include the following: