Microbiology Surveillance Department

Microbiology Surveillance Dr D R Howell david.howell@nbs.nhs.ukl

Staff - David Howell, Raji Salker, Ramani Perera, Gill Rayfield, Mary Nash

Tel: 020 8271 6324 or 020 8271 6331

The Transfusion Microbiology Section is a vital part in the chain of ensuring that donors reacting in any of the routine transfusion microbiology screen tests are handled appropriately. This can only be achieved by active links and interfacing with other sections within the National Transfusion Microbiology Department and also other parts of the service, including Testing, Processing, Issue, Donor Care, Services to Donors etc. The great majority of these donors are ‘false-positive’ and can be returned to the active donation panel using the criteria laid down in the Guidelines for the Blood Transfusion Services in the United Kingdom [ISBN 0 11 703028 7]. A much smaller number of donors are those that are confirmed positive. These are all given their results and must be handled with sensitivity at every stage of the procedure.

The department reports results and donor classification on an anonymous basis to the NBS/HPA Infection Surveillance Programme

Another vital part of our work is making best use of donations reactive in the routine transfusion microbiology screening tests. Our regulatory authority had insisted that these be reconciled and removed from the inventory as soon as possible. This compromised the various health agencies that needed this material for the production of standards, controls and quality control panels. A validated system is in place to ensure the availability of this vital material. Requests for material for other uses will be considered and assessed using strict criteria. Please contact any member of the team to commence so that we can consider ways to help.

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