Research into how to store blood for transfusion

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Intravenous literature: Infection Control Today report “Depending on the amount and age of the stored blood used, there is evidence that transfusion can lead to complications including infection, organ failure and death. New research found that these complications are likely due to red blood cell breakdown during storage, implying that transfused blood may need to be stored in a different way.

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. In fact, more than 5 million Americans receive blood transfusions each year, according to the American Red Cross. Depending on the amount and age of the stored blood used, there is evidence that transfusion can lead to complications including infection, organ failure and death.

New research from Wake Forest University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that these complications are likely due to red blood cell breakdown during storage, implying that transfused blood may need to be stored in a different way. This week in the early online version of Circulation, the team reports the latest findings from its ongoing exploration of the interaction between red blood cell breakdown products and nitric oxide (NO), revealing new biological mechanisms that can reduce blood flow and possibly damage vital tissues after administration of blood that has been stored for longer periods of time.”

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