PATIENTS WITH TYPE O BLOOD MORE LIKELY TO DIE IF INJURED
Accident and trauma victims with type O blood – around 45 per cent of the population – may be at significantly higher risk of dying than people with similar injuries who have less common blood types, according to new research carried out at Tokyo Medical and Dental University Hospital.
“Loss of blood is the leading cause of death in patients with severe trauma, but studies on the association between different blood types and the risk of trauma death have been scarce,” Said Dr Wataru Takayama, lead author of the paper in the journal Critical Care. “We wanted to test the hypothesis that trauma survival is affected by differences in blood types.”
The team studied the records of the 901 patients treated for severe trauma at two Japanese medical centres in the years 2013 to 2016. They found that the death rate among patients with type O blood was 28 per cent, compared to just 11 per cent among those with other blood types.
It’s believed this may be due to type O blood having lower levels of a bloodclotting agent known as von Willebrand factor.
The findings raise questions about the use of type O blood for blood transfusions when treating trauma patients, but the report’s authors urge caution, stressing that it is not yet known whether this applies to all ethnic groups as all 901 patients involved in the research were Japanese. What’s more, the study only compared type O to non-type O patients – having blood of types A, B or AB may affect patient survival rates in other ways. More research is therefore needed before hospitals rewrite their trauma treatment rule books, the researchers say.
The O blood type is the most common, and the one that’s most frequently requested by hospitals