Critically injured children who received blood transfusions had lower levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha, an indication the immune system is being repressed, according to a study presented at the SCCM annual meeting. Their immune systems reverted to normal functioning sooner with the use of blood that was less than two weeks old. "Our findings provide evidence that storage age could play a role in modulating immune function in critically injured children, and we feel this is worthy of future studies," researcher Dr. Ryan Nofziger said.

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