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Red blood cells for transfusion like a good red: A little older, a little better

Date:
September 27, 2017
Source:
Monash University
Summary:
The transfusion of older stored red blood cells is safe and surprisingly, associated with fewer side effects, a landmark research trial has found.
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A landmark Australian research trial has found the transfusion of older stored red blood cells is safe and surprisingly, associated with fewer side effects. In the TRANSFUSE trial, researchers from the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre at Monash University in Melbourne led teams in 5 countries to investigate the effect of the age of transfused red blood cells on critically ill patient's outcomes.

In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on September 27th, the team demonstrated that fresher blood was no better than older blood. Unexpectedly they also found fewer transfusion reactions, including fever, with the older blood; and in the most severely ill patients, the transfusion of older blood was associated with fewer deaths.

Lead researcher Professor Jamie Cooper said "older blood appears to be like a good red wine- better with some age. The findings of our trial confirm that the current duration of storage of red blood cells for transfusion is both safe and optimal."

In Australia, red blood cells are stored for up to 42 days before transfusion. Routine practice in most hospitals is to allocate the oldest available compatible blood. Concerns regarding changes in the red blood cells for transfusion during storage, have led some countries to reduce this to 35 days, and some doctors to request fresher blood for specific patients under the belief the "fresh must be best." "Such practices can significantly reduce the availability of blood for transfusion" said Professor Cooper. "Our study shows these practices are not required and are potentially counterproductive."


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Materials provided by Monash University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. James Cooper, Zoe K. McQuilten, Alistair Nichol, Bridget Ady, Cécile Aubron, Michael Bailey, Rinaldo Bellomo, Dashiell Gantner, David O. Irving, Kirsi-Maija Kaukonen, Colin McArthur, Lynne Murray, Ville Pettilä, Craig French. Age of Red Cells for Transfusion and Outcomes in Critically Ill Adults. New England Journal of Medicine, 2017; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1707572

Cite This Page:

Monash University. "Red blood cells for transfusion like a good red: A little older, a little better." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170927093325.htm>.
Monash University. (2017, September 27). Red blood cells for transfusion like a good red: A little older, a little better. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 22, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170927093325.htm
Monash University. "Red blood cells for transfusion like a good red: A little older, a little better." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/09/170927093325.htm (accessed June 22, 2024).

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