CBS Recalls 1,500 Blood Units due to Missed CMV Testing

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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In a recent statement issued by the Canadian Blood Services, it has announced to recall almost 1,500 units of blood after discovering that some of its supply was not properly tested, while assuring Canadians that any risk to patients is extremely low. CBS mentioned in the statement that the recalled supply was not properly tested for Cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is a common infection that lies dormant in white blood cells and is harmless for most of the population.

The statement elucidated that “the recall is precautionary in nature … there is very little risk to patients.” It was disclosed that very few patients with special needs require CMV-negative blood, like bone marrow and organ transplant patients, low birth-weight infants, and immune-compromised patients. CBS added that even though the prescribed three-day test for CMV was not performed as per rules, but any risk is still very low because they filter out white cells, where CMV resides, from all donated blood.

It was further elucidated that several other stricter tests were performed on the recalled supply that checked for other serious infectious diseases of which the blood was found clean of. Additionally, the authority reveled that more than 80 per cent of CMV negative products issued to hospitals has come from donors who were previously tested negative for CMV. CBS revealed that the recalled blood was tested at its Calgary donor testing laboratory between July 30 and Aug. 2, after which the error was identified during a routine audit last week.

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