As part of its commitment to ensuring the safest blood supply possible, the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) has begun testing blood donations for the Zika virus. STBTC is one of only a handful of blood centers in the nation currently testing for Zika.
“We believe this is the best way to safeguard the people of South Texas who need blood transfusions,” said Elizabeth Waltman, chief operating officer of STBTC. “Taking a precautionary approach will optimize patient safety and help maintain blood availability for everyone.”
Testing for the Zika virus is being done by QualTex Laboratories, which like STBTC is a subsidiary of San Antonio-based nonprofit BioBridge Global, with testing labs here and in Norcross, Georgia. Zika testing is being done in the QualTex labs in Georgia, because of space and capacity requirements for the testing equipment.