What tests are carried out for blood donors

German Red Cross

Every blood donation is examined with highly sensitive methods in our central laboratories immediately after the blood donation.

These examinations include:
  • blood grouping according to the AB0 system
  • the determination of the Rhesus factor
  • an examination for irregular blood group antibodies
  • testing for antibodies or antigens against
    • Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
    • HIV
    • syphilis
  • direct virus detection using nucleic acid amplification technology (PCR test) for the following virus types:
    • Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C
    • HIV
    • Parvovirus B19

Only after the blood donation examinations have been completed is the blood released for patient care. This takes place approx. 24 hours after your blood donation.

Up to three different blood preparations are made from each blood donation

Every “whole blood donation” results in 2 or 3 different preparations made from red blood cells (erythrocytes), blood platelets (thrombocytes) or plasma. The white blood cells (leukocytes) are removed from all blood preparations as they are responsible for a number of undesirable side effects of blood transfusion.

Pharmaceutical blood preparations are manufactured strictly in accordance with the hemotherapy guidelines issued in Germany by the German Medical Association in agreement with the Paul Ehrlich Institute.

Research and Development

And because we are not resting with the security standard we have achieved, we are continuing to research to make your blood donation even safer and better tolerated for the recipients. Without the DRK blood donation services, there would be no PCR testing of blood donations that could be financed by the health system. The extensive removal of leukocytes is also the result of many years of work by the DRK blood donation services.