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Filtering donor blood 'reduces transfusion complications'

Filtering donor blood 'reduces transfusion complications'
25th June 2010

Filtering blood donations may help to reduce complications and the likelihood of patients needing assisted living care.

Filtering donor blood to remove foreign white cells has been associated with fewer cardiopulmonary complications in patients receiving transfusions, research carried out at the University of Rochester Medical Center has shown.

When filtered blood was used, rates of acute, transfusion-related lung injury fell by 83 per cent, while circulatory overload declined by 49 per cent.

Scientists are confident that these findings can be used to reduce death rates from these rare conditions following transfusions.

However, lead study author Neil Blumberg warned: "Our observations do not prove cause and effect and therefore require further investigation before we can say with certainty that leukoreduction is responsible for so many fewer cardiopulmonary complications."

Recent studies carried out by researchers at the Rhode Island and Miriam hospitals indicated that blood transfusion donations need to be better screened, following an upturn of cases of Babesia.

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