Another safety net was added to blood donations on Thursday thanks to FDA approval of a new blood fingerprint test. The so-called fingerprint actually refers to new genetic testing that can screen blood from the tiniest of samples.
It's called the nucleic acid test, and it can find the AIDS virus or Hepatitis C even before the donor's body recognizes it has an infection. That means the new test brings even less of a risk that a virus could slip into transfusions.
It turns out, Lubbock is ahead of the game. UBS and other local blood suppliers have been using nucleic acid testing (also known as the NAT test) experimentally since 1999. FDA approval now just means that blood banks nationwide will have to use that same DNA check before any donor blood goes into a transfusion.