Impact of Blood Donor Sex on Transfusion-Related Outcomes in Preterm Infants

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ObjectiveExplore the role of red blood cell donor sex on preterm infant neonatal outcomes.Study designIn a retrospective, exploratory, cohort study, the hospital blood bank database was queried for units of blood released to neonatal intensive care unit patients in 2009-2010. The state blood center provided donor sex, and a department database provided neonatal characteristics and morbidities. Comparisons were made for 2 groups: those who ever received female blood and those who did not.ResultsAmong 462 infants <32 weeks of gestation, 190 (41%) received >1 blood transfusion. In univariate analyses, compared with infants who received only male blood, infants who received female donor blood had higher rates of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (38% vs 22%; P = .03), spontaneous intestinal perforation/necrotizing enterocolitis (17% vs 6%; P = .04), and death or any morbidity (60% vs 38%; P < .01), respectively. In adjusted analyses, female blood was associated with any morbidity (P = .0251) and 21 days longer hospitalization (P = .0098). After adding total number transfusions to the model, only an increased number of transfusions was associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (P = .0009), any morbidity (P = .0001), and length of stay (P = .0001). In subset regressions comparing exclusively female donor blood with male donor blood, there was a significant interaction of female donor blood and number of transfusions for any morbidity (OR 2.6 95% CI 1.2-5.7, P = .01).ConclusionsPreliminary findings suggest that female donor blood was associated with preterm vulnerability to neonatal morbidities.

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