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Stored blood may be unsafe for severely injured patients: study

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

stored longer may be less safe for patients with massive loss and as it may have adverse effects, according to scientists, including one of Indian origin.

For severely injured patients who have massive bleeding and receive many transfusion units, older was associated with in flow, increased and in critical end organs, and

The researchers have found mechanistic links between older stored red cell transfusions and


The key is free heme, a from degraded red cells. Heme is part of the oxygen-binding hemoglobin pigment that gives cells their red colour and carries oxygen through the body from the lungs.

While in the red cell, heme is relatively safe; but once outside the confines of the red cells, free heme is toxic and can cause tissue

During storage and upon transfusion, stored red cells lyse open, releasing free heme.

"An adverse role for heme suggests that finding ways to limit heme exposure or prevent heme toxicity may improve safety of stored red cell transfusions," said from the University of at Birmingham in the US.

For the study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, mice were resuscitated after trauma and hemorrhage, using either fresh or two-week-old stored

Two days later, they were challenged by instilling the lungs with the aeruginosa.

A two-week storage of mouse approximates storage of human red cells for 42 days.

Compared to fresh blood, with the stored significantly increased bacterial lung injury, as shown by higher mortality, and increases in fluid accumulation and bacterial numbers in the lungs.

Free heme, which is known to induce to major organs in like sickle cell or sepsis, acts, in part, by activating the toll-like receptor 4.

The researchers also found that transfusion with stored induced release of the mediator HMGB1, part of the body's immune response.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 10 2018. 17:50 IST
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