Toronto: Heart surgery patients receiving newly donated blood have significantly fewer post-operative complications than those who received blood donated more than two weeks before their surgery, found a research.
The study examined records at the New Brunswick Heart Centre (NBHC) in Saint John, Canada for heart surgeries performed over the past nine years on patients who received red blood cells either during their surgery or afterwards.
"The findings show that we need to pay attention to the age of the blood we give cardiac surgery patients," said Ansar Hassan of the department of cardiac surgery at NBHC.
Of 2,015 patients, just over half (1,052) received only 'new' blood, donated within 14 days of the transfusion, while the rest received only or some 'old' blood, donated more than 14 days before.
Those given only new blood had fewer in-hospital complications such as re-operation for bleeding, ventilation longer than 24 hours, infection, renal failure and death, showed the study.
Overall the patients who received new blood fared significantly better than those who received some or all old blood, noted the study that was presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress.
"Perhaps more importantly, we need new studies to determine what is driving this relationship between the age of blood and the outcomes we are seeing," Hassan said.
"We need to ensure outcomes are as successful as possible. This study is an important reminder for Canadians to donate blood so that blood products are available for these surgeries," concluded Beth Abramson, spokesperson, Heart and Stroke Foundation.