Navigation Links
Older Blood Boosts Chances of Infection in Transfusion Patients

Study found those who received blood that was 29 days or older faced twice the risk

TUESDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital patients who receive a transfusion of stored blood that is 29 days or older face double the risk for developing one or more serious infections compared to those who get "fresher" blood, new research indicates.

The study authors pointed out that current U.S. regulations set the upper limit for blood storage at 42 days, at which point the blood must be thrown away. Yet, the latest finding suggests that infection risk might actually begin nearly two weeks before that accepted cut-off date.

"This issue is something that has been on the radar for some time, so the idea that aging blood can pose problems is not completely new," said study author Dr. Raquel Nahra, who conducted her research while at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J. "But the bottom line here is that what we found is that patients who received blood transfusions with blood 29 days or older appeared to have a greater risk for infection."

Nahra is currently working at Stark Medical Center in Fort Smith, Ark. She and her colleagues were scheduled to present their findings Tuesday at the American College of Chest Physicians annual meeting, in Philadelphia.

The observations follow a 2006 finding from Duke University Medical Center researchers that seriously ill heart patients who received a transfusion of older blood -- between 31 to 42 days old -- faced a higher risk of death than similar patients who got "fresher" blood (stored for up to 19 days).

The new research team noted that the existing threshold was established to deal with the fact that while in storage red blood cells release cytokines, which are known to dampen a transfusion patient's immune system -- rendering the patient more susceptible to infection.

Cytokine release tends to begin around two weeks into blood storage, mounting to maximum levels even after the 42-day line in the sand.

To get a handle on possible links between blood age and infection risk among transfusion patients, Nahra and her colleagues analyzed records concerning 422 transfusion patients -- average age 66 -- who had been admitted to a single hospital intensive care unit between 2003 and 2006.

On average, the blood on hand at the ICU was 26 days old, while 70 percent of all the available blood was more than 21 days old.

Nahra and her team tracked the age of the first unit of blood each patient received, as well as the age of the oldest unit of blood they received.

The research team found that, following transfusion, 11 percent of the patients died, while 57 patients went on to develop one or more serious infections, including pneumonia, upper respiratory infection, sepsis and/or shock.

Specifically, 32 patients developed a single infection, 21 developed two such infections, and four patients developed three infections.

Patients who received blood transfusions with units of blood that had been packed for 29 days or longer were found to be twice as likely to develop such an infection as those getting blood stored for 28 days or less.

The age of the oldest unit of blood used during any transfusion was the factor most strongly linked to infection risk -- although the age of the first unit of blood used was also associated with an increased risk, the study found.

Despite the apparent infection association, no link was found between receiving a transfusion of older blood and a greater risk for death.

Noting that hospitals often use the oldest blood on hand first to minimize waste, Nahra and her team concluded that more studies are needed to identify the ideal storage period for blood, to protect against infection risk.

She noted that, as a practical matter, hospital patients cannot routinely request "fresher blood."

"It is too early to conclude that patients should be worried," she said, "but I would say that they should be aware that this is a possible complication, and future studies should explore that question."

Dr. Richard J. Benjamin, chief medical officer for the American Red Cross, described the study as both "interesting and provocative," but he stressed the need for further research.

"It would be premature to base changes in medical practice on the data this study provides," he said, noting it can be difficult to draw definitive conclusions based on research that looks back on patient experience without controlling for all the various factors that might color the findings.

For example, "the sicker patients received more blood than the less sick patients, and were therefore more likely to receive at least one older unit," he pointed out. "[So] it is not possible to discern whether the worse clinical condition caused more old blood to be transfused, or if the patients were sicker because they received more old blood."

Noting that research is under way to try to answer such questions, Benjamin emphasized that "the judicious use of blood transfusion is lifesaving and allows the performance of medical and surgical procedures that would not otherwise be possible due to blood loss. Physicians and patients need to weigh the potential benefits against the small risk of harm caused by transfusions."

More information

For more on blood safety, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

SOURCE: Raquel Nahra, M.D., Stark Medical Center in Fort Smith, Ark.; Richard J. Benjamin, M.D., chief medical officer, American Red Cross, Washington, D.C.; Oct. 28, 2008, presentation, American College of Chest Physicians annual meeting, Philadelphia

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Luoxin Announces 2008 Third Quarterly Results; Profit Attributable to Shareholders Surged 62.9% to Approximately RMB 138,141,000
2. Stress affects older adults more than young adults
3. Darwin Stockholders Adopt Merger Agreement with Allied World
4. Cancer screening rates among older Medicaid patients fall short of national objectives
5. Sunlight exposure plus low antioxidant levels may place older adults at risk for eye disease
6. Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
7. Older Workers Worried About Promised Medicare and Social Security Benefits, Watson Wyatt Survey Finds
8. Older Problem Gamblers Face Increased Suicide Risk
9. Top Insurance Expert Calls on 144,000 Holders of Long-Term Care Polices to Protest an Eleventh Hour Conseco Trust
10. Hormone Therapy Not Best for Older Prostate Cancer Patients
11. Hanger Orthopedic Group, Inc. Announces Underwritten Public Offering by Shareholder
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Older Blood Boosts Chances of Infection in Transfusion Patients
(Date:12/1/2015)... , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Califia Farms ... announced that its iconic bottle has won top honors in Beverage World Magazine’s Global ... Company also announced that it has been selected as a 2015 U.S.A. Taste Champion ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... MD (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... salmon identification tests to continue the expansion of the company’s growing product line ... – for Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and Sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka) – allow InstantLabs to ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... The ... been lifted as IMAGE Information Systems launches MED-TAB™ -- the world’s first portable ... Meeting from November 29 to December 4, 2015. , MED-TAB is expected ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... is everything. That is why Hollister Incorporated has launched the VaPro Plus Pocket™ ... next product in the VaPro touch free catheter portfolio,” said Michael Gresavage, Vice ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... today announced it has been awarded a fixed price per sprint agile development ... contract, valued at $34 million over five years, provides software engineering, infrastructure, as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 --> ... Drugs Market by Type of Drug (Monoclonal Antibodies, Interferon-Alpha, Interleukins, ... and Pipeline Analysis - Global Forecast to 2020", published by ... USD 73,529.2 Million by 2020 from USD 40,281.6 Million in ... Browse 37 market data ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... BANGALORE, India and PITTSBURGH ... TASE: MYL) today announced that it expects to be ... developing country markets funded by international donors, TLE400 (Tenofovir ... Efavirenz 400 mg) for $99 per patient, per year. ... to develop TLE400. The significantly reduced price could generate ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015  AccuTEC Blades, a ... new corporate logo and brand identity program. The ... and engineering of bladed products where "the edge ... --> Serving manufacturers and distributors ... auto glass equipment, AccuTEC,s product lines include those ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: