In extreme cases, blood transfusions can prove life-saving, however new evidence has shed light on their potential risk to our children.
According to medical experts in Canada, children may be at risk of contracting life-threatening food allergies after receiving blood transfusions from an affected donor.
The allergies most commonly implicated are said to be those involving peanuts, milk and eggs.
The experts’ warning comes after the case of an eight-year-old boy came to their attention. The boy, who had no history of allergies before receiving the transfusion, began reacting badly to salmon and peanuts within two weeks of undergoing the procedure.
After investigation by the Canadian Blood Services, it was discovered that the individual who had served as the donor had severe allergies.
Doctors went on to carry out allergy tests on the eight-year-old boy over the following months and, four months later, the child showed no reaction to the same foods.
The case was reported on in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, with Dr Julia Upton observing that the chances of this occurring are there, but are relatively low.
“It is very unusual to identify someone who experienced passive transfer of allergy from blood products. Importantly, this condition has an excellent prognosis and typically resolves within a few month,” she said.