News | October 04, 2006

Blood Transfusions May Be More of a Risk to Recovery than Previously Suspected

Blood transfusions may be more of a risk to recovery than previously suspected, according to two articles in the June issue of Critical Care Medicine, the journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. According to background information in the article, administration of packed red blood cells is associated with medical and surgical mortality. Transfusions are associated with transmission of infectious agents, infectious complications following surgery, wound infection, post-surgical pneumonia, kidney dysfunction, diminished lung function, multiple organ failure, increased length of stay in the hospital or ICU and generally increased short- and long-term mortality. The researchers studied 11,963 Cleveland Clinic patients who had coronary bypass transfusions to analyze the probability of in-hospital illness and death as a function of transfusion of red blood cells and blood components. 

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