Feature

Health scare of the week: Beware of blood transfusions

Blood transfusions may do more harm than good, a series of new studies indicates, prompting a review of the procedure by the National Institutes of Health. One study of 9,000 patients who underwent heart surgery found that those who received blood transfu

Blood transfusions may do more harm than good, a series of new studies indicates, prompting a review of the procedure by the National Institutes of Health. One study of 9,000 patients who underwent heart surgery found that those who received blood transfusions afterward were three times more likely to die within a year. Cardiac anesthesiologist Bruce Spiess tells the London Guardian that, popular as they are, “probably 40 percent to 60 percent of blood transfusions are not good for the patients.” Donated blood quickly loses its freshness during storage: Studies have found that red blood cells can become stiff and sticky, with a limited ability to transport oxygen. Chemicals in donated blood may also suppress the immune system, making it more difficult for patients to fight off potential post-surgery infections. Cardiac surgeon Gavin Murphy says it’s time to seriously evaluate transfusions’ risks and benefits. “There is virtually no high-quality study in surgery, or intensive care or acute care, outside of when you are bleeding to death, that shows that blood transfusion is beneficial,” he says. “And many that show it is bad for you.”

Recommended

Trump's team tried hard, failed to prove Wuhan lab-leak theory
Wuhan Institute of Virology
no smoking gun

Trump's team tried hard, failed to prove Wuhan lab-leak theory

Long COVID might be a bigger problem than researchers thought
solving covid

Long COVID might be a bigger problem than researchers thought

10 things you need to know today: June 15, 2021
Masks on a fence
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 15, 2021

COVID-19 vaccines effective against Delta variant, U.K. studies find
NHS COVID-19 vaccination bus
Solving COVID

COVID-19 vaccines effective against Delta variant, U.K. studies find

Most Popular

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now
Bernie Sanders.
Sounds dope

Bernie Sanders wants to know if cannabis reporter is 'stoned' right now

In the Heights has a disappointing box office debut
In the Heights
summer box office

In the Heights has a disappointing box office debut

Georgia election workers reportedly received a 'torrent' of threats
Trump rally.
The big lie

Georgia election workers reportedly received a 'torrent' of threats