Blood Transfusions Increase Infection Risk?
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Blood transfusions are one of the most common procedures patients receive in the hospital but the more red blood cells they are given, the greater their risk of infection, according to a new study at the University of Michigan Health System and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.
For the study, researchers looked at 21 randomized controlled trials and found elderly patients undergoing hip or knee surgeries were most vulnerable, with a 30 percent lower risk of infection when fewer transfusions were used. Overall, for every 38 patients considered for red blood cell transfusion, one patient avoided serious infection when fewer transfusions were used.
“This is most likely due to the patient's immune system reacting to donor blood,” lead author Jeffrey M. Rohde, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine in the division of general medicine at the U-M Medical School, was quoted as saying. “Transfusions may benefit patients with severe anemia or blood loss; however, for patients with higher red blood cell levels, the risks may outweigh the benefits.”
For more information, go to: http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201404/overusebloodtransfusions
SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, April 2014
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