Send to

Choose Destination
Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2013 Mar;27(1):17-35. doi: 10.1016/j.bpa.2012.12.006.

The transfusion dilemma--weighing the known and newly proposed risks of blood transfusions against the uncertain benefits.

Author information

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Box 608, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Due to its significant role in saving lives, blood transfusion became one of the most commonly used therapies in medicine. In the USA red blood cell transfusions, for instance, are given to an estimated 3-4 million patients per year. However, the accepted benefits of transfusion do not come without harm. Acute transfusion reactions have been estimated to occur in almost one-fifth of total transfusions, with serious reactions in approximately 0.5%. Although methods of blood collection, preparation and storage have improved significantly, potential complications and controversial efficacy, especially of red blood cell transfusions, are still a major concern. One long-standing primary concern has been bacterial and viral contamination but recently other risks have been identified, mostly related to recipient immunomodulation and storage lesion-related changes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center