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Editor's Correspondence
August 11/25, 2003

Food Allergens and Blood Transfusions: A Cause for Concern?

Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(15):1861. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.15.1861-a

The case report of a 60-year-old man acquiring a nut allergy via liver transplant is concerning. This man received his new organ from an unfortunate 15-year-old boy who died as a result of ingesting peanuts, to which he was fatally allergic.1 This raises a concern about screening a more ordinary allograft: blood transfusions.

Current blood donor guidelines do not include a dietary history for the most allergic foods such as fish, nuts, peanuts, shellfish, and wheat in adults and egg, fish, milk, peanuts, and soy in infants and children.2 Blood transfusion–induced reactions do occur.3 One major tertiary care facility reported an overall transfusion reaction rate of 2.1%.4