Red Blood Cell Transfusion

Newfound research attempts to determine potential factors affecting the success rate of red blood cell transfusion. The study specifically assesses blood donor age and sex with respect to red blood cell transfusion.


A recent study conducted by Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine has narrowed down on research pertaining to harmful aspects of red blood cells. Blood transfusion, one of the most commonly practiced medical procedures, has been used to solve issues of oxygen transport. With a crucial purpose and increased use over the years, medical professionals have identified that certain characteristics of blood donors may contribute towards the outcome of the recipient undergoing transfusion. A new study analyzes factors of age and sex as potentially influential variables for red blood cell transfusion.

Data from a blood collection agency as well as from academic hospitals was used towards the research. Recipients of all ages, who underwent blood transfusion during the specified time period, were included, for a total of 30,503 recipients. Other variables such as manufacturing methods, blood group, number of donations, and date of donation were taken into account as well. Recipient survival measured since the date of the first red blood cell transfusion was used as the primary outcome.

Results indicated that patients receiving blood from relatively younger blood donors (17 to 19.9 years old) experienced an 8% increase in the risk of death while older blood donors (40 to 49.9 years old) had a lower hazard ratio for their respective recipients. Patients who had been transfused with blood from a female donor were at an 8% increased risk of death as opposed to patients with male blood donors. Overall, increased mortality was statistically evident among patients with younger and female blood donors.

These statistics are highly valuable for medical and healthcare professionals when carrying out effective and long-term successful red blood cell transfusions. Blood donation agencies may also use this data to encourage increased donation among donors, older individuals and males, expressing potentially lower mortality rates for their recipients. As the study lacks numerous test trials, further research may contribute towards confirming these trends and offering solutions to increasingly successful transfusions using younger and female donors.




Written By: Shrishti Ahuja, BSc

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