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New research shows no advantage to shorter-storage red blood cell transfusions for cardiac surgery patients

New evidence shows red blood cell units stored 21 to 42 days have similar clinical effects in cardiac surgery patients compared to units stored up to 10 days.

The findings of the study, called the Red Cell Storage duration Study (RECESS), are published in New England Journal of Medicine.

The FDA allows red blood cell (RBC) units to be stored for up to 42 days after blood donation.  At most hospitals, standard transfusion practice is to utilize RBC units that are closest to 42 days old, so that the donated units will not reach their expiration date and be wasted. RECESS sought to compare clinical outcomes in cardiac surgery patients who received RBC units stored up to 10 days and patients who received RBC units stored 21 to 42 days.

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Third-year medical student participates in competitive hematology research program

Editor’s note: Sarah Morean is the Medical School communications manager. This post first appeared on Medical School News.

By the time Hewan Belete started as a medical student at the University of Minnesota, she had already earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Mayo Clinic.

Though she came to the University with some experience as a researcher, she was unsure at first how to integrate that work with clinical medicine.

One opportunity that opened her eyes to clinical research was the American Society of Hematology’s Minority Medical Student Award Program (MMSAP). Belete participated in this program last year as a second-year student, and is participating again as a second-experience participant during her third year of medical school.

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