Transfusion spoiler

Published: Wednesday 15 July 2009

Diabetic donors' blood is not safe for recipient

people suffering from infectious diseases like hepatitis and hiv/aids are not allowed to donate blood. Diabetics, specifically those suffering from the type 2 diabetes, can now be added to the list of the disqualified. The concentration of certain proteins is changed in the blood platelets of diabetic people, a study has found. Receiving blood from such donors could cause heart diseases, affect the lungs and lead to organ failure, it warned.

Prevalence of diabetes has increased in the past few decades. This would reduce the availability of safe blood. who estimates that more than 180 million people in the world have diabetes. This number is likely to more than double by 2030. Incidence of diabetes in India is among the highest.

David Springer of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the US and his colleagues from different universities in the country found that the concentration of about 122 proteins in the blood of diabetic donors were different from that of healthy donors. Concentration of 25 proteins increased, while that of 97 decreased in the diabetic donors. For example, the concentration of mutant beta-globin, which is a subunit of haemoglobin, increased about 29 times. The decrease in concentrations was much lower. A protein involved in carbohydrate metabolism decreased by 0.67 times.

The study, published in the Journal of Proteome Research on June 5, noted that these changes in the blood platelets of diabetic donors were similar to changes in the platelets of a healthy donor's blood, which had been stored for four-five days.

Stored samples of blood were earlier considered unsuitable for transfusion because of their record in causing complications in the heart and lungs. In the stored blood of healthy donors, 34 proteins were found in higher concentrations and 83 proteins in lower concentrations.

The study warned that just like platelets stored for five days or more, platelets from diabetic donors are likely to cause complications leading to the failure of organs. David Springer and his colleagues added the study could help develop screening tests to detect and monitor the high-risk platelets.

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