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Lack of persistent microchimerism in contemporary transfused trauma patients.

Jackman and colleagues evaluated transfusion-associated microchimerism (TA-MC) in a prospective cohort study of trauma patients. Index samples were collected upon admission, prior to transfusion and at periodical intervals up to one year. TA-MC was detected by real-time quantitative allele-specific PCR assays at the HLA-DR locus and at several polymorphic insertion deletion sites screening for non-recipient […]

Association of perioperative red blood cell transfusions with venous thromboembolism in a North American registry.

An association between red blood cell (RBC) transfusion and increased incidence of perioperative complications has been highlighted in a large number of prospective and restrospective studies. In the study published in JAMA Surgery by Ruchika Goel and her group, the authors looked at a potential association between perioperative RBC transfusion and the incidence of postoperative […]

Contemporary risk factors and outcomes of transfusion-associated circulatory overload.

Recently, a joint working group of members of the International Haemovigilance Network, the International Society of Blood Transfusion and AABB concluded that it is too early to develop a consensus on TACO, its definition, its reporting criteria and its risk factors. This was due to the fact that currently, insufficient published research was available to […]

2017 EACTS/EACTA Guidelines on patient blood management for adult cardiac surgery.

There is growing evidence that patient blood management (PBM) is becoming “standard of care” in major surgery associated with high blood loss, particularly in cardiac surgery. These guidelines are the result of the combined efforts of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) and the European Association of Cardiothoracic Anaesthesiology (EACTA) in order to offer […]

Efficiency and safety of varying the frequency of whole blood donation (INTERVAL): a randomised trial of 45 000 donors.

A sufficient blood supply enables life-saving transfusions for many clinical situations, mostly in trauma and oncologic patients. Blood donor eligibility criteria differ in European countries and the US. As blood donation may cause iron deficiency, the donation interval is a matter of debate. Evidence-based data about safe blood donation frequency are missing and blood donation […]

Effect of short-term vs. long-term blood storage on mortality after transfusion.

The impact of storage time of packed red blood cells (RBCs) on patient outcome has been a topic of heated controversy. During the last two decades, 13 randomised controlled trials involving more than 5000 transfusion recipients were conducted to evaluate the effect of short-term storage versus long-term storage of RBCs in various populations including neonates, children, critically […]

Clinical practice guidelines from the AABB: red blood cell transfusion thresholds and storage.

The AABB has updated its guidelines on red blood cell (RBC) transfusion and storage issues. In summary, the authors recommend a restrictive RBC transfusion strategy in all haemodynamically stable hospitalised patients: a threshold haemoglobin concentration of 8 g/dL is suggested for adults with cardiovascular disease or undergoing orthopedic surgery; a threshold of 7 g/dL is suggested for […]

Association of blood donor age and sex with recipient survival after red blood cell transfusion.

This study investigated the impact of blood donor age and gender on RBC transfusion outcome. In solid organ transplantation, donor characteristics are associated with recipients’ outcome. In unrelated allogeneic stem cell transplantation, for example, young male donors are preferred over female or older donors. As blood transfusion is the smallest form of transplantation, the question […]

Declining blood collection and utilization in the United States.

The authors report an analysis of the 2013 Blood Collection and Utilization Survey results by the US Department of Health and Human Services. They found significant changes in demand for blood components compared to the 2011 survey: transfusions of RBCs, platelets and plasma changed by –4.3%, +8.5%, and –6.6%, respectively. The volumes of blood components […]

Apheresis platelets are more frequently associated with adverse reactions than pooled platelets both in recipients and in donors: a study from French hemovigilance data.

Platelets (PLT) for transfusion can be obtained by apheresis or by whole-blood donation. Pooling of buffy coats from 4–6 donations is used to prepare whole-blood-derived PLT concentrates in most European countries and in Canada. There is an ongoing debate about infectious risks and immunological side effects associated with different types of PLT products. In this […]

A benchmarking program to reduce red blood cell outdating: implementation, evaluation, and a conceptual framework.

Outdating of blood components is a matter of concern in transfusion medicine. In the present study, a benchmarking programme to reduce outdating of red blood cells was implemented in Canadian hospitals and evaluated over close to 6 years. Benchmarks included education, inventory management, summaries of best practice recommendations, and recognition of high-performing sites. The authors describe […]

The safety of the blood supply ― time to raise the bar.

The authors describe the aspects of the safety of blood components focusing on pathogen reduction technologies (PRT). Due to the availability of approved PRT for only plasma and platelet products, there are different safety levels for blood components today. The need for PRT is pointed out by threats on the blood supply such as Ebola, […]