Thesis defense Camilla Caram Deelder

The bright and the dark side of blood transfusion: Turning data into knowledge

On Thursday 30 November 2017 at 16:15 hrs Camilla Caram Deelder defended  her PhD-thesis 'The bright and the dark side of blood transfusion: Turning data into knowledge' at Leiden University.

Promotor: Prof.  JG van der Bom MD PhD

Co-promotor: RA Middelburg PhD

Venue: Leiden University , Academiegebouw


C. Caram-Deelder’s thesis explores the potential of secondary data – data that was generated for a different purpose than the research itself - to answer questions regarding safety and efficacy of blood products. By combining datasets of several hospitals, she demonstrated that receiving red cell transfusions from a female donor who has been pregnant is associated with increased mortality among male patients under the age of 50. Also using data from hospitals she  demonstrated that old platelets shorter the time between platelets transfusions, resulting in an increased total number of transfusions on a population level. This increase  is, however, unlikely to outweigh the benefit of reduced outdating and wastage. By meta-analysing studies it is shown that old platelets are inferior to fresh platelets for platelet related counts, time between transfusions and the need of additional platelet transfusions. Additionally the thesis discusses the methodological issue of the use of the terms ‘prospective’ and ‘retrospective’ in clinical observational research. These terms are still broadly used in spite of the recommendation to refrain from using them by guidelines and journals’ editorial boards. The usage of the terms was, however, not associated with the quality of the report.