Blood transfusions save millions of lives every year, and I happen to think giving blood is one of the simplest and best acts of love for your fellow humans. But banked blood may also be causing unintended harm.
In an interesting piece I caught in this week’s Time, writer Alice Park details a difficult question health experts have been pondering for some time now: whether banked blood is causing deaths in some patients. Heart attacks and deaths jump significantly – as much as 25% – in patients who receive blood transfusions. It’s not due to allergies or infections or mistakes. Even accounting for these factors, heart attacks still happen more often and without warning in those who get transfusions. What gives?