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Pre-Storage Leukoreduction is the process used to filter white blood cells from whole blood before transfusion.

White blood cells are removed because they provide no benefit to the recipient and can in fact carry bacteria and viruses that could be detrimental to the recipient. Patients who receive blood that has not been leukoreduced, may have side effects which include:

  • Fever with accompanying chills
  • Alloimmunization, an immune system reaction that may result in poor transfusion response when the patient is transfused at a later time
  • Viral transmission, including cytomegalovirus (CMV) which can be dangerous for low-birth weight infants, bone marrow and organ transplant patients

In the summer of 1999, Canadian Blood Services implemented pre-storage leukoreduction of whole blood cells in addition to the pre-storage leukoreduction of platelets, which has been available since February 1998.

Leukoreduction Position Paper Leukoreduction Position Paper pdf: 43.5K/12 pages

Safety and Testing
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