The Role of the Laboratory and Transfusion Service in the Management of Ebola Virus Disease

Scott A. Koepsell, Anne M. Winkler, John D. Roback

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The Ebola outbreak that began in 2013 infected and killed record numbers of individuals and created unprecedented challenges, including containment and treatment of the virus in resource-strained West Africa as well as the repatriation and treatment for patients in the United States and Europe. Valuable lessons were learned, especially the important role that the laboratory and transfusion service plays in the treatment for patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD) by providing data for supportive care and fluid resuscitation as well as the generation of investigational therapies such as convalescent plasma (CP). To provide treatment support, laboratories had to evaluate and update procedures to ensure the safety of laboratory personnel. Because there is no licensed EVD-specific treatment, CP was used in more than 99 patients with only 1 possible severe adverse event reported. However, given the biologic variability inherent in CP as well as the small number of patient treated in a nonrandomized fashion, the efficacy of CP in the treatment of EVD remains unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
JournalTransfusion Medicine Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Convalescent plasma
  • Ebola virus disease
  • Laboratory testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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