The study is published online in the journal, Transfusion. It is the latest in a large body of work led by Neil Blumberg, M.D., who for 25 years has been investigating the benefits of filtering or washing blood to create safer, simpler approaches to transfusion therapy.
The observational study was conducted during the seven years before and after 2000, when the URMC introduced universal leukoreduction, a process that filters the white cells from blood to be used for transfusions. Researchers looked at the number of reports of transfusion reactions during the 14-year period, and divided them by the total number of blood components transfused (778, 559).
Rates of acute, transfusion-related lung injury dropped 83 percent in the years after filtering took place, and transfusion-associated circulatory overload declined 49 percent, when compared to the rates prior to the year 2000. Both conditions are rare, but are among the most common causes of death following a transfusion.
“These data are very exciting because we described two unexpected and unexplained associations between adverse reactions and leukoreduction, “Blumberg said. “However, 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.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is introducing a new blood surveillance system to track severe transfusion reactions, Blumberg said, which should provide more detailed information to support or refute the URMC study.
About five million people a year in the United States receive transfusions to replenish blood lost during surgery, serious injury or illness. While transfusions can be life-saving, they also lead to health complications.
In previous studies, Blumberg’s team has shown that the odds of post-surgical infection and death are greatly reduced by leukoreduction. White cells from donor blood can attack the immune system of the blood recipient; removing them diminishes the chances of an inflammatory response or infection, according to Blumberg’s research.
Transfusion-related lung injury is believed to happen when antibodies or other molecules from the donor’s white blood cells or plasma react in an adverse way with the recipient’s white blood cells. Circulatory overload is presumed to occur when the volume of blood given in a transfusion is too much for the recipient’s cardiovascular system. Researchers hypothesized that leukoreduction, which removes the white cells, would reduce those complications.
In 1998 Strong Memorial Hospital, a 739-bed facility owned by the URMC, became one of the first hospitals in the nation to use leukoreduced blood during heart surgeries. Two years later Strong extended its leukoreduction practices to all patients. Work done at URMC also has supported keeping transfusions to an absolute minimum. Blumberg’s evidence-based stance on the judicious use of transfusions and safer techniques has contributed greatly to the national and international dialogue on reducing in-hospital infections rates and controlling costs.
No extramural funding supported this study, although two researchers receive partial salary support from National Institutes of Health grants. Data retrieval and analysis were conducted as part of a larger quality assurance initiative.
Co-authors are: Joanna M. Heal, Kelly F. Gettings, Richard P. Phipps, Debra Masel, Majed A. Refaai, Scott A. Kirkley, and L. Benjamin Fialkow, from the Transfusion Medicine Unit and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Phipps is also a professor of Environmental Medicine.For Media Inquiries:
Leslie Orr | EurekAlert!
Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg
New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences