Washington: Some researchers are advocating for a modernized blood management system to potentially reduce patient complications.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limits storage duration to a maximum of 42 days, depending on the storage system.
Colleen G. Koch, MD, MS, MBA, from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said that stored blood undergoes changes, meaning that transfusion of older red blood cells may result in the delivery of high concentrations of red blood cell components such as hemoglobin, free iron, and red blood cell fragments.
She said that these components may contribute to adverse clinical events observed in a number of investigations.
Koch and team reviewed existing literature to examine the presence of storage-related complications in patients who underwent blood transfusions.
They found several studies in trauma and cardiac surgery that linked increased blood storage duration to post-injury multiple organ failure, infection, deep vein thrombosis, and hospital mortality, while other studies reported no apparent relationship between storage duration and clinical outcomes.
Koch said that they hope their results engage others in the medical community to investigate alternative inventory management strategies that would contribute to reducing the storage age of the red cell product without adversely influencing inventory availability.
The study has been published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.