Stranger danger - mortality after transfusions

N. R. Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

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In the 1960s and 1970s hepatitis as a result of blood transfusion was relatively common, but at a recent talk on recent advances in the treatment of hepatitis I was surprised to learn just how high the mortality was after blood transfusion during this time period. In the USA an epidemiological study reported that 6% of nearly 30,000 patients with viral hepatitis had received one or more transfusions of blood or blood product within two weeks to six months before the onset of symptoms and the mortality in these patients was around 10%.1 In the yrs to come there were also new and emerging viruses and prions to add to the problem. On searching the more recent literature however, there are
many reports which still highlight higher mortality in patients who have had blood transfusions. Two immediate questions spring to mind: 1. Are there problems associated with the trans- fusion itself or 2. Does the original need for a transfusion result in increased mortality?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-282
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number3
Early online date16 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


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