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April 16, 2003

Is Leukoreduction of Blood Components for Everyone?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Anesthesiology (Dr Corwin), Medicine (Drs Corwin and AuBuchon), and Pathology (Dr AuBuchon), Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH.

JAMA. 2003;289(15):1993-1995. doi:10.1001/jama.289.15.1993

For most of the last half-century, blood transfusion has been looked upon as relatively "risk free" and with obvious clinical benefit.1 A dramatic change in thinking occurred in the early 1980s, when concerns about transfusion-related infections, particularly those caused by hepatitis C virus and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), prompted reevaluation of the risks of allogeneic transfusion. Advances in transfusion medicine have greatly decreased the risk of viral transmission through blood transfusion; however, the approach to blood transfusion continues to be directed toward achieving a zero-risk blood supply.2 Over the last several years attention has focused on the advisability of the universal application of leukoreduction to the blood supply.

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