Danish researchers make startling blood donor discovery

Researchers found that patients needing blood transfusions have better chances of survival if they are given blood from a donor with the same gender

Researchers from Rigshospitalet city hospital have made an interesting discovery in relation to blood transfusions.

The researchers found that the gender of blood donors has an impact on the survival rate of patients needing blood transfusions.

For instance, men have a 1.7-2.0 percent better chance of surviving if they receive blood from male donors, while women also have a better chance of living if they are given blood from either men or women … but not both.

“By using new statistical methods, we can now see for the first time that the gender of blood donors can affect those who are receiving the blood,” said Pär I Johansson, a professor specialising in blood transfusions and the driver behind the research at Rigshospitalet.

“The impact of gender has been discussed for many years, but earlier studies haven’t been able to document this effect.”

Johansson said that the new knowledge can help improve patient survival rates during blood transfusions.

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1,000 lives saved annually
Every year, about 40,000 patients receive blood transfusions in Denmark – about 40 percent in cancer patients, 30 percent in relation to births and operations and 30 percent for treating chronic illnesses.

It is believed that the new research could lead to 650-800 more men and 200-300 more women surviving blood transfusions annually.

The new research – published in the respected scientific journal Lancet e-Clinical Medicine​ – has led to Rigshospitalet launching a clinical study to further investigate the subject.

“Transfusion medicine is a complex area because you treat patients with a product from another living human,” said Johansson.

“The durability of the blood and the sex of the donor are both pieces in an intricate puzzle and there are likely other factors that also affect patient survuval, which we will continue to research.”