Detecting Pharmaceuticals in the Red Blood Cell Inventory of a Hospital Blood Bank

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We tested 220 red blood cell units for the presence of pharmaceuticals; 15 units (6.8%) were confirmed to contain low concentrations of opiates, benzodiazepines, stimulants, or barbiturates. Further study is needed to determine whether these drugs, which are not prohibited in donated blood by current Food and Drug Administration standards, could mediate adverse reactions in children.

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