Shelf life of blood may be shorter than previously believed

Medical Watch
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The shelf life of donated blood may be shorter than previously thought.

A new study finds blood cells stored for more than three weeks lose the capacity to deliver oxygen where it’s most needed.

The researchers report, after 21 days the cells gradually lose the flexibility to squeeze through the body’s smallest capillaries to deliver oxygen to tissues.

The findings echo those of another larger study that found cardiac surgery patients who received blood stored longer than three weeks were almost twice as likely to die as patients who were given blood stored for just ten days.

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