The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published data on transfusion-related fatalities in FY2012, confirming that the blood supply today is safer than ever before. In FY2012, the FDA received 88 fatality reports, among which 74 were cases among transfusion recipients and 14 were post-donation cases. Further analysis found that among the 74 transfusion recipient cases, 38 (51%) were conclusively transfusion-related, 9 (12%) were unrelated to transfusion, and 27 (36%) were possibly transfusion-related. Consistent with trends in previous years, the most common complications among transfusion-related fatalities were transfusion related acute lung injury (TRALI) (45%), followed by hemolytic transfusion reactions (21%) and transfusion associated circulatory overload (TACO) (21%). Cases of TRALI and TACO increased slightly from FY2011.
1. US Food and Drug Administration. Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Fatalities Reported to FDA Following Blood Collection and Transfusion: Annual Summary for Fiscal Year 2012. 4/18/2013. Accessed 5/8/2013.