A large study led by researchers from the University of Ottawa, the Ottawa Hospital, Université Laval and the Canadian Blood Services Centre for Innovation has shown a link between blood donor characteristics and transfusion recipient outcomes. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, is the first to suggest that red blood cell transfusions from young donors and from female donors may be associated with poorer survival in recipients. The study linked 30,503 transfusion recipients at the Ottawa Hospital between October 2006 and December 2013 to their respective blood donors and followed transfusion outcomes for an average of 2.3 years.
“These results are intriguing and suggest that if you require a transfusion, your clinical outcome may be affected by the blood donor’s age and sex,” said senior author Dr. Dean Fergusson, professor at the University of Ottawa and senior scientist and director of the clinical epidemiology program at the Ottawa Hospital. “However, it is important to remember that our study was observational in nature, which means it cannot be considered definitive evidence.”
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