Friday, June 23, 2006

Hey, doc, check the expiration date on that blood, will ya?

As if there weren't enough to worry about when having surgery. Now you have to worry about the "best if used by" date on the blood being transfused into you:

Death rates after heart surgery are five times higher for patients who are given blood that has been stored for more than 31 days than for those given blood stored for 19 days or less. If the finding is confirmed by larger studies, it could suggest that high-risk patients should be given fresher blood, which may be better able to deliver oxygen.

—Mellow Monk

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