Donor Age and Sex May Affect Outcomes for Patients Receiving Red Blood Cell Transfusions

According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, red blood cell (RBC) transfusions from donors who are younger or female are associated with increased mortality for the recipient.

Michael Chassé, MD, PhD, from Universite Laval in Quebec, Canada, and authors conducted a longitudinal, cohort study of 30,503 transfusion recipients who received 187,960 RBC transfusions from 80,755 unique donors. Data were collected from four academic hospitals and a blood collection agency.

Results indicated that recipients who received blood from donors 17 to 19.9 years old had an 8 percent increased risk for mortality, compared with those who received blood from donors 40 to 49 years old (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] = 1.08; 95% CI 1.06-1.1; p<0.001). In addition, recipients who received blood from female donors had an 8 percent increased risk for death compared with male donors (adjusted HR=1.08; 95% CI 1.06-1.09; p<0.001).

“These findings suggest that blood donor characteristics may affect transfusion recipient outcome, and clinical trials are warranted,” the authors concluded.

Source: Chassé M, Tinmouth A, English SW, et al. Association of blood donor age and sex with recipient survival after red blood cell transfusion. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 July 11. [Epub ahead of print]