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Introduction: Administration of blood and blood products is very life-saving. However, the safety of blood transfusion in resource-limited nations is questionable unlike in many developed nations of the world. The risk of viral transmission has been significantly curtailed, but bacterial transmission and infection continue to be a significant challenge in transfusion medicine. Bacterial screening is not usually carried out on platelets and other components of blood in Nigeria except on rare occasions after transfusion reaction due to bacterial contamination is highly suspected.
Aims: To discuss the risk of bacterial contamination of blood components in a resource-limited setting like Nigeria and measures that can be instituted to reduce it.
Results: the sources and risks of bacterial blood contamination in Nigeria were reviewed and discussed as well as steps that can be taken to limit such.
Conclusion: Bacterial screening of blood and blood components prior to administration is rarely done in Nigeria and since the donor's arm is the primary potential source of contamination, efforts should be made to have a pool of altruistic non-remunerated blood donor to limit the risk.