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Multiple barriers to the safety and availability of blood components for transfusion were identified in the 2015 Global Database on Blood Safety, many of which derive from weak regulatory oversight, insufficient financing, and fragmentation of the national blood system. Centralization of key functions of the blood service within a limited number of blood establishments, particularly testing and processing of blood donations, can overcome several shortcomings that often exist in decentralized blood systems that are highly fragmented.
This guidance document has been produced by WHO to assist blood services in the development of national plans to respond to any emerging infectious threats to the sufficiency or safety of the blood supply, whether from an existing infectious agent that is changing in incidence and spread, or from a newly identified infectious agent.