Author Affiliations: Departments of Anesthesiology (Dr Corwin), Medicine (Drs Corwin and AuBuchon), and Pathology (Dr AuBuchon), Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH.
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.
Corwin HL, AuBuchon JP. Is Leukoreduction of Blood Components for Everyone?. JAMA. 2003;289(15):1993-1995. doi:10.1001/jama.289.15.1993