News Picture: Blood From Previously Pregnant Women Is Safe for Donation: Study
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Blood from previously pregnant women is safe for donation: studying

TUESDAY, June 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) – Red blood cell donations from pregnant women will not cause fatal reactions in patients receiving the blood, a new study finds.

Previous studies have suggested that women who are pregnant should not give blood because antibodies that develop during pregnancy may cause a potentially fatal complication in their blood recipients. This complication is called transfusion-related acute lung damage.

For the new study, researchers collected data from more than 1 million red blood cell recipients in the United States, Sweden, and Denmark.

The researchers found no significant differences in death from blood transfusions of women who had been pregnant, those who had never been pregnant and men.

"The results are reassuring in the sense that the survival of patients transfused with red blood cells does not seem to be associated with whether the blood they received was donated by a man, by a woman who had been pregnant – or by someone who didn't, that's important to know, "said Dr. Simone Glynn. She is head of the Blood Epidemiology and Clinical Therapeutics Branch of the American National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Worldwide, more than 80 million units of red blood cells are transfused every year.

Dr. Gustaf Edgren, a senior researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said: "We are proactively addressing the potential risks to blood supply, and we take this seriously. Transfusions are very common procedures and our findings ensure that current practice is safe and does not need to be changed. "

The report was published online June 11 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

– Steven Reinberg

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SOURCE: American National Heart, Lungs and Blood Institute, press release, 11 June 2019

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