No Complications From Using Stored Red Blood Cells

Short-term complication status similar in fresh versus standard issue red blood cell transfusions

FRIDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- There is no significant difference in early complications, including measures of pulmonary function, immunologic status, or coagulation status, after using fresh versus standard issue red blood cell (RBC) transfusions, according to a study published online Jan. 26 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Daryl J. Kor, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues conducted a double-blind, randomized, clinical trial of 50 patients receiving fresh RBC (no more than five days of storage) and 50 patients receiving standard issue single-unit RBC transfusion to investigate the impact of storage duration on short-term pulmonary function. The patients were all intubated and mechanically-ventilated adults.

The researchers found that median storage age was 4.0 days for fresh RBC and 26.5 days for standard issue RBC. No significant differences were noted in the primary outcome of change in pulmonary gas exchange as measured by the partial pressure of arterial oxygen to the fraction of inspired oxygen concentration ratio (ΔPaO2FiO2) in the standard issue RBC group versus the fresh RBC group (difference between the mean ΔPaO2FiO2 in the standard issue versus fresh RBC group, −11.5; P = 0.22). There were also no significant differences seen in markers of immunologic or coagulation status.

"No differences were noted in early measures of pulmonary function nor immunologic or coagulation status when comparing fresh versus standard issue single-unit RBC transfusion," the authors write.

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