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Letters
March 12, 2003

Blood Transfusions and Mortality Among Critically Ill Patients

Author Affiliations
 

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(10):1242-1243. doi:10.1001/jama.289.10.1242-a

To the Editor: Dr Vincent and colleagues1 found that patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) who received transfusions were also at higher risk of mortality, and that this difference persisted even after accounting for differing degrees of organ dysfunction. Neither the authors nor Drs Hébert and Fergusson2 in the accompanying Editorial discuss transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) as an explanation for the increased mortality among those who received transfusions. The true incidence of TRALI is unknown, but it is considered to be one of the most common but most underdiagnosed adverse effects of transfusion, particularly in its milder presentations.3 We believe that future research on the clinical consequences of blood transfusion should consider this important and, until recently, overlooked complication of blood transfusion.

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