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Ann Transl Med. 2017 Dec;5(24):483. doi: 10.21037/atm.2017.12.02.

The management of a blood donor bitten by a snake.

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Italian National Blood Centre, National Institute of Health, Rome, Italy.
Department of Haematology and Transfusion Medicine, "Carlo Poma" Hospital, Mantua, Italy.
Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Rome, Italy.


The worldwide burden of snakebite is high and venomous snakes are found in many regions of the world and are a threat to public health. In Italy, for instance, viper bites are an infrequent but not negligible event. Although people who have been bitten by a snake rarely wish to donate blood within a "short" time, it is however important to evaluate their eligibility to donate blood or blood components as their donation could be a problem for donor management, especially if a specific policy is not in place. The aim of this manuscript is to summarise the worldwide existing donor deferral policy for snakebites and to provide some indications in order to facilitate decision-making and to guarantee maximum safety for the donors as well as for the recipients.


Snake bite; blood donors’ deferral; blood safety

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of Interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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