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March 10, 1989

Repeated Blood Donations and Erythropoietin Levels-Reply

Author Affiliations

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore

JAMA. 1989;261(10):1443. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420100077020

In Reply. —  We thank Dr Kempen for his comments concerning our article on the effect of repeated blood donations on serum immunoreactive erythropoietin, but refute his contention concerning possible methodological artifacts in our study. Contrary to Dr Kempen's statements, none of our patients deposited blood at three-day intervals over a short period of time. Rather, they deposited blood at weekly intervals for as long as their hematocrits permitted, according to the American Association of Blood Banks' guidelines. We found initially that most donors could not tolerate a three-day interval phlebotomy schedule, as they became rapidly anemic even though iron replete and while taking iron supplementation. Consequently, we switched to a weekly phlebotomy schedule, and having thus satisfied the criterion established by Dr Kempen, it is clear that our data contain no methodological artifacts. In fact, they essentially recapitulate an extensive study1 of the effect of repeated weekly phlebotomies,