Posture up: blood transfusions can be fatal
According to the daily mail, a new study shows that if blood transfusions are used for longer periods of blood, large amounts of iron containing harmful substances are released into the patient's bloodstream.
The longest period when red blood cells can be stored for transfusions should be 6 weeks. But new research shows that the longer the storage, the greater the risk, greatly increasing the risk of blood clots in the patient. Experts warn that the study should shorten the maximum storage time required by FDA from 6 weeks to 5 weeks, which could save thousands of people from harm.
However, there is a severe shortage of blood donors, and the demand for blood transfusions is very large. Although this is a minor change, it may also result in the loss of treatment opportunities for thousands of patients.
Red blood transfusions are most common in hospitalized patients. According to the American Red Cross, about 36000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the United states. About 4 million 500 thousand Americans receive transfusions each year.
The longer the red cell deposits, the more iron is released. As we all know, iron mainly helps transport oxygen from the lungs to other organs. But, like other nutrients, too much iron can lead to complications such as thrombosis. About 5%~20% of patients have received the upper limit of blood storage.
"The UK, Ireland, Holland and the United States National Institutes of health have a maximum storage limit of 35 days," said the researchers. "We believe that this can be generalized to the United States and will not have a serious impact on the blood supply."."