Australian Blood Donors Surveillance Report 2015

The Annual Surveillance Report on Transfusion-transmissible Infections (TTI) in Australia provides a comprehensive analysis of trends in transfusion-transmissible infections among Australian blood donors. The report aims to provide evidence to inform the ongoing assessment of laboratory testing algorithms for detecting transfusion-transmissible infections as well as evaluation and revision of donor education guidelines for minimising the risk of transfusion-transmissible infections and thus maximising the safety of the Australian blood supply.


Chief investigators
A/Prof Rebecca Guy
Head, Surveillance Evaluation and Research Program
The Kirby Institute – UNSW Australia
+61 2 9385 0978,

Sue Ismay
Scientific Director, Manufacturing
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service
+61 2 9234 2152,

Dr Clive Seed
Senior Blood Safety Analyst, Donor and Product Safety (DAPS) Policy Unit
Australian Red Cross Blood Service
+61 8 6213 5913,

Key findings
  • Over the ten‑year period 2005  – 2014, there were approximately 12.5 million blood donations in Australia with an average of 1.2 million donations per year. Although there has been a decrease in the total number of donations since 2009, the trend over the last ten years shows a significant increase (p= 0.01).
  • Total blood donations in 2014 declined by 3.7% (representing 48,939 less donations) compared to 2013 reflecting both a reduced clinical demand for red cells leading to fewer whole blood collections, and continued expansion of automated plasma collections to meet an increasing demand for some plasma products, principally intravenous immunoglobulin
  • In 2014, a total of 153 blood donors were detected as having a transfusion transmissible infection for which screening is in place, namely, (hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human T‑cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV), or active syphilis). In the ten‑year period 2005 – 2014, a total of 2,255 transfusion transmissible infection‑positive donors have been detected. In 2014, no donor had more than one transfusion‑transmissible infection.
  • In 2014, the prevalence of transfusion‑transmissible infections was substantially lower among first‑time blood donors (13 to 35 times) compared with national prevalence estimates.