Sex of blood donor has no effect on recipient survival

13 Apr 2023 • A large clinical trial of more than 8,700 patients published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that the sex of a donor has no effect on the survival of recipients of red blood cell transfusions. “Some observational studies had suggested female donor blood might be linked with a higher risk of death among recipients compared to male donor blood, but our clinical trial found that isn’t the case,” said co-lead author Dr. Dean Fergusson.

  • In the over 8,500-patient study, 58% of recipients assigned to a female donor survived during an average follow-up of 11 months compared with 56.1% of patients who had a male donor.
  • The two groups also experienced similar lengths of time in the hospital, with those in the male donor group staying for 20.8 days, and those in the female donor group staying for 21 days
  • Researchers found no statistically significant differences in overall survival between recipients of male donor blood and recipients of female donor blood.
  • Only difference seen was higher incidence of MRSA infection in recipients of female donor blood.

The possible impact of the sex of a blood donor on recipient survival has been an unanswered question in transfusion medicine for a long time. "Our trial did not show an overall survival benefit with a strategy of red-cell transfusion from a male blood donor as compared with a strategy of red-cell transfusion from a female donor," Fergusson and team concluded.

Source: NEJM | Read full article

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