The CDC has confirmed a case of transfusion related anaplasmma phagocytophilum (formerly known as human granulocytic erlichiosis), which is a tickborne rickettsial disease (report). Although a rare event, it is important to recognize that the US blood supply is not routinely screened for tickborne diseases, and that these organisms can survive in refridgerated RBCs. We therefore must consider rickettsial diseases in all patients with post-tranfusion fever and thrombocytopenia
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.