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Prolonged RBC storage 'makes little difference in transfusions to babies'
Using fresh red blood cells (RBCs) instead of cells that have been stored for some time makes little difference to the outcome of a transfusion to a premature baby.
According to the journal JAMA, observational studies have suggested that prolonged RBC storage can make transfusion patients, including babies, more susceptible to infection, organ failure and death.
However, a new study carried out at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute has suggested that using fresh RBCs as an alternative does not make a "clinically meaningful or statistically significant" change to the result.
"Prolonged RBC storage may not be as important as once thought," the report stated.
As a result, researchers do not believe the rules regarding storage practices for RBCs administered to babies in neonatal intensive care need to be changed.
Indeed, the team argued that fresh RBCs did "not improve clinical outcomes" in infants who were premature, at high risk and of a very low weight.
Posted by Carla Mackenzie
World Congress 2015