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Invited Commentary
June 2017

Statistical Caution in Big Data Approaches to Transfusion Medicine Research

Author Affiliations
  • 1Blood Systems Research Institute, San Francisco, California
  • 2Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland
  • 3RTI International, Rockville, Maryland
  • 4Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • 5Department of Epidemiology/Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(6):860-861. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.0914

Allogeneic blood transfusions involve complex biological products prepared from donated blood and are considered unique in many respects compared with other health care therapeutics. Blood donors are a demographically and genetically diverse group of individuals with inherited differences that may affect the stability of and outcomes associated with transfused blood components. Given the inherent variation in donated blood, most countries use a regulatory authority, such as the US Food and Drug Administration, to monitor factors associated with blood collection, manipulation, storage, and safety. Following significant advances in the reduction of infectious risks that have been associated with allogeneic blood transfusion during the past 2 decades, there has been a concerted effort to understand and improve the quality and potency of donated blood components. Recent efforts have been devoted to understanding the effect of blood processing methods, storage solutions, and duration of blood product storage on the quality of the product.

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