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Report examines how boy got food allergies from blood transfusions

A new study suggests freshly donated blood is not better than older blood when it is transfused into severely ill patients.
A new study suggests freshly donated blood is not better than older blood when it is transfused into severely ill patients. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

TORONTO – A boy being cared for at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children got more than he bargained for when he was given blood transfusions while being treated for a brain tumour.

Doctors say the boy temporarily acquired food allergies after receiving a range of blood products.

The boy had no known allergies before receiving the blood transfusions, and regularly ate fish and peanut butter.

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But after receiving the transfusions, he developed an anaphylactic reaction after eating salmon; four days later a peanut butter cup induced the same reaction.

An investigation revealed that one of the donors whose blood the boy received had severe allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and other fish.

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The boy tested positive for all those allergens, but later the foods were reintroduced into his diet without any problems.