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Perceived changes in behavior and values after a red blood cell transfusion

Authors Broccolo M, Favez N, Karam O

Received 27 October 2017

Accepted for publication 29 November 2017

Published 27 December 2017 Volume 2018:6 Pages 1—5


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Cees Th. Smit Sibinga

Marianna Broccolo,1 Nicolas Favez,2 Oliver Karam3,4

1School of Medicine, 2Clinical Psychology Unit, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, 3Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland; 4Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Richmond, VA, USA

Background: Several studies have evaluated perceived changes in patients’ behavior after an organ transplant, especially a heart transplant. Although blood transfusions are much more frequent and have many connotations, derived from religious values, mass culture, or personal ideas, there is no study of the perception the patients have of changes in their behavior and values after a transfusion. This study’s objective was to assess perceived changes in behavior and values after a red blood cell transfusion.
Materials and methods: Exploratory study through semistructured interviews with seven adults transfused after orthopedic surgery.
Results: Blood had strong symbolic values for all subjects. Each of the seven participants mentioned positive characteristics that they would like to receive from the donor. Six subjects out of the seven acknowledged the possibility that transfusions might induce changes in behavior or values. Three subjects clearly stated that they would refuse to receive blood from a criminal for fear that some negative characteristic may be transmitted to them. Furthermore, three subjects acknowledged that their transfusion might have changed their own behavior or values.
Discussion: This study shows that patients might feel that transfusions could modify their behavior or values and that certain personality traits of the donor could be transmitted. Further research in a larger population is warranted to evaluate the incidence of a perceived changed in behavior or values after a blood transfusion, which would then lead to changes in the way information is provided to future patients requiring transfusions.

Keywords: blood transfusion, psychological adjustment, personality

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