Interesting reading in a recent New Scientist magazine - 26 April 2008 issue.
To read the complete article you have to buy the magazine.
Blood transfusions found to harm some patients
- 26 April 2008
- Rachel Nowak
- Magazine issue 2653
"For the life of the flesh is in the blood. No soul of you shall eat blood." So says the Bible's book of Leviticus, and it is for this reason that Jehovah's Witnesses shun blood transfusions. They do not, however, shun surgery. As long as surgeons use special techniques, Jehovah's Witnesses can have surgery - including operations with the greatest potential for blood loss, such as open-heart surgery - without ever receiving a drop of someone else's blood.
Now some surgeons and anaesthetists are questioning whether every patient shouldn't get the same treatment. Over the past decade a number of studies have found that, far from saving lives, blood transfusions can actually harm many patients.
The problem is not the much-publicised risk of blood-borne infectious agents, such as HIV, but the blood itself. Study after study has shown that transfusions, particularly those containing red blood cells, are linked to higher ...
The complete article is 1361 words long.