Red cell irradiation – time for a change?

What is this research about?

Transfusion of red blood cells (RBCs) is a life-saving procedure. However, transfusion is not without risk. In very rare cases, transfusion can cause an often fatal disease called Transfusion Associated Graft versus Host Disease (TA-GvHD). TA-GvHD occurs when donor white blood cells, transfused along with the RBCs, take up residence in the recipient’s body. The donor white blood cells sense that they are in an incompatible host and attempt to "reject" the recipient. To reduce the risk of TA-GvHD, RBCs are separated by centrifugation from the other portions of a whole blood donation and subsequently filtered to further remove white blood cells (leukoreduced).

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