S. Jody Heymann, MD, PhD; Timothy F. Brewer, MD, MPH; Harvey V. Fineberg, MD, PhD; Mary E. Wilson, MD
Recently, 14 patients who were negative for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) types 1 and 2 were found to have T-lymphocytopenia. The possibility has been raised that at least one of the cases may be associated with retroviral particles (1, 2). These developments have raised questions about the safety of the U.S. blood supply and current transfusion practices.
While the uncertainty about the cause of the reported cases of idiopathic immunodeficiency is being resolved, physicians and patients must continue to make difficult decisions about transfusions. We need to be able to answer these questions: If the cause is infectious and the
Heymann SJ, Brewer TF, Fineberg HV, Wilson ME. How Safe Is Safe Enough? New Infections and the U.S. Blood Supply. Ann Intern Med. ;117:612–614. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-117-7-612
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1992;117(7):612-614.
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