HealthDay News — There is no increased risk for mortality among patients receiving red blood cell transfusions from female, previously pregnant, or sex-discordant donors, according to a study published in the June 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Gustaf Edgren, MD, PhD, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues used data from 3 retrospective cohorts of transfusion recipients (the Kaiser Permanente Northern California [KPNC; 34,662] and Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study-III [REDS-III; 93,724] databases [2013 through 2016] and the Scandinavian Donations and Transfusions [SCANDAT; 918,996] database [2003 through 2012]) to examine associations between blood donor sex and prior pregnancy and mortality of transfusion recipients.

The researchers found that the median number of red blood cell transfusions per patient was 3 in the KPNC cohort, 2 in the REDS-III cohort, and 3 in the SCANDAT cohort. The percentage of transfusions ranged from 39 to 43% for female donors, from 9 to 25% for previously pregnant donors, and from 44 to 50% for sex-discordant donors. Across cohorts, no statistically significant associations were noted between these 3 donor exposures and in-hospital mortality.

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“We proactively address potential risks to the blood supply, and we take this seriously,” Edgren said in a statement. “Transfusions are very common procedures, and our findings ensure that the current practice is safe and doesn’t need to be changed.”

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