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Long-term survival after blood transfusion: a population based study in the North of England

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jonathan Wallis, Professor John MatthewsORCiD


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BACKGROUND: Blood transfusion may transmit infectious diseases with long incubation periods. Estimation of the risks of transmission of such disease requires knowledge of long-term survival of transfused patients. No such information is available in the UK, where there is particular concern about possible transmission by transfusion of variant CJD. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Information on survival after transfusion and demographics was collected for all patients transfused during June 1994 in a population of 2.9 million served by a single blood center. RESULTS: A total of 2899 patients were transfused with 10,760 units of RBCs (99% of RBCs issued during the study period). Follow-up to death or 5 years was completed for 98.2 percent, and 46.9 percent of all transfusion recipients were alive at 5 years; 41 percent of transfused RBC units and 36 percent of transfused FFP were given to patients who were alive at 5 years. Median age at transfusion was 67 years (mean, 60.9 years). Shorter patient survival was associated with increasing patient age, increasing numbers of RBC units transfused, transfusion of plasma or PLTs, and nonsurgical indications for transfusion. CONCLUSIONS: Posttransfusion survival is lower than estimated in previous decades in other countries. This is probably due to a relative increase in use of transfusion for older patients and for medical indications. Our figures may be used to predict and stratify the risk of infections, such as variant CJD, amongst different groups of transfusion recipients.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wallis JP, Wells AW, Matthews JN, Chapman CE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transfusion

Year: 2004

Volume: 44

Issue: 7

Pages: 1025-1032

ISSN (print): 0041-1132

ISSN (electronic): 1537-2995

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2004.03400.x


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