Revisiting the universal donor: Does exposure to O blood products affect patient outcomes?

Blood group O individuals are considered the universal blood donor as their red cells lack structures called A, B or AB. Most people have proteins (antibodies) in their blood that react with these structures and can cause
reactions. Initial research suggests that some patients may have worse clinical outcomes if they receive the group O universal blood. We think that this may be due to inflammation that is caused by proteins in the
group O blood. In a group of patients with bone marrow disorders who receive chronic blood transfusions as part of their routine clinical care, we will test their blood after they receive a blood transfusion identical to their blood group, and after another transfusion where group O blood is given. O blood is often routinely given to these patients depending on availability. Patient samples will be tested for markers of inflammation looking for
differences between transfusions of different blood groups. We will also explore data from a large database (Hamilton and Sunnybrook patients) to see if there is evidence that group O blood given to non-O individuals
may be harmful. Results could change transfusion practices to make blood transfusion safer.
Principal Investigator / Supervisor
ARNOLD, Donald
Co-Investigator(s) / Trainee
ACKER, Jason BUCKSTEIN, Rena CALLUM, Jeannie COOK, Richard HEDDLE, Nancy SOLH, Ziad WEBERT, Kathryn BARTY, Rebecca LEBER, Brian LALIT, Saini
McMaster University
Intramural Research Grant Program
Total Amount Awarded
Project Start Date
Project End Date