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To help meet the demand for blood components, some states allow blood donation by 16- and 17-year-olds. However, some data suggest that complications of donation are highest among young donors. Eder and colleagues analyzed data from 9 American Red Cross blood services regions to evaluate adverse reactions to whole blood donation among 16- and 17-year-olds vs older donors. The authors report an overall complication rate of 3.8%. Complications were recorded after 10.7% of donations by 16- and 17-year-olds, 8.3% by 18- and 19- year-olds, and 2.8% by donors 20 years and older. Young age was the strongest correlate of major complications, and 16- and 17-year olds were significantly more likely than older donors to experience syncopal-type complications.
This Week in JAMA . JAMA. 2008;299(19):2241. doi:10.1001/jama.299.19.2241
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