Exposure to ABO-nonidentical blood associated with increased in-hospital mortality in patients with group A blood
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BACKGROUND: Transfusing ABO-compatible blood avoids most acute hemolytic reactions, but donor units that are ABO compatible are not necessarily ABO identical. Emerging data have raised concerns that ABO-nonidentical blood products lead to adverse outcomes. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A large multihospital registry (Transfusion Registry for Utilization, Surveillance, and Tracking) was used to determine the association between exposure to ABO-nonidentical blood and in-hospital mortality. Cox regression analyses controlled for sex, age, hemoglobin, creatinine, and in-hospital interventions and stratified by age of blood and admission year. RESULTS: Data from 18,843 non-group O patients admitted between 2002 and 2011 and receiving at least 1 unit of blood were analyzed. Overall, group A patients had significantly increased risk of in-hospital death upon receiving a nonidentical unit (RR , 1.79; 95% CI, 1.20-2.67; p = 0.005). There was no evidence of increased risk for group B or AB patients. Similar results were seen when only patients with circulatory disorders were considered. When patients with an injury or poisoning diagnosis were excluded, the risk of in-hospital death after receiving a non-identical unit was significantly higher in group A patients and significantly lower in Group B patients. CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates an adverse effect of ABO-nonidentical blood in a broad range of patients with group A blood, after adjustment for potential confounders. Further research in this area is required to study possible mechanisms. Increased mortality associated with exposure to nonidentical blood in these patients would have a substantial impact at the population level; it would challenge how blood suppliers manage inventory and recruit donors and how health care providers administer blood.
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