After I Receive a Blood Transfusion, When Does that Blood Physiologically Become Mine?

Functionally, it remains the same.

Prior to the transfusion, tests for cell surface antigens on the donor and recipient red blood cells (RBCs) would be done to ensure no differences are present that might cause a transfusion reaction.

Both the donor blood and the recipient blood have the same oxygen-carrying properties, so from a blood-draw standpoint it all just looks like blood. In most cases, the transfused blood is also a very small part of the body’s total blood volume, and so any differences between it and the rest of the body will be nearly undetectable in your average blood draw. Of course, if there are blood type mismatches, you would see reactions between donor blood and recipient blood, but barring that, everything would be kosher. Finally, the life of red blood cells is about 120 days, and in most transfusions, the transfused blood is completely absent from the system within 60 days.

One interesting side effect can happen in the event of massive transfusion that replaces an incredibly large volume of blood. If the volume is large enough to essentially replace the patient’s own blood, then you can get something called “dilutional thrombocytopenia” since transfused blood has platelets that aren’t fully functional. This can be corrected with further transfusions, but it’s something that might actually show up in a blood draw.

What would happen if a DNA test were performed on your blood after a transfusion?

Nothing special.  Tranfused blood (meaning RBCs) doesn’t carry DNA – it is essentially saline and RBCs.  Only a minimal amount of liquid (I don’t know the composition) is added to maintain pH and osmolarity so that the RBCs aren’t destroyed.

Blood that is routinely donated is then prepared in a way that removes >99% of white blood cells (the only thing in your blood to contain DNA) and the plasma. So, really, a blood transfusion is usually an erythrocyte transfusion.

However when someone has a bone marrow (or organ) transplant, all of the blood cells created from that point (IE: white blood cells) carry the DNA of the donor, not the recipient. They never really become the recipient’s.  Yes, DNA confusion has happened.

What happens if you put the wrong blood type in to someone?

The immune system will recognize it as a foreign object and destroy it, the same way it would an agent of illness like a pathogenic bacteria. Different blood types have different antigen markers on them (which is what the letter and +/- represent), and your body will attack blood that has the wrong markers. Type O blood lacks antigen markers, which is why it’s the universal donor, while AB blood has both making it the universal acceptor (the immune system is used to all the antigen markers).

A New High-Res 3D Printer Can Print Objects Smaller Than Blood Cells

On June 15, a team of researchers at UNIST has announced that they have developed a high-resolution 3D printing technology that is capable of printing electronic circuits on plastic, metallic or magnetic nanoparticles that are curved and much flexible. According to the team, led by Prof. Jang-Ung Park (School of Materials Science and Engineering), they have succeeded in imprinting ultra-fine 3D patterns that are as small as 0.001 mm in size. This is thinner than a red blood cell.

Source: Realizing Futuristic 3D Printing Technology

The article talks about wearable electronics, but I wonder if something like skin would be possible.  Rather than grafting…

Sure, cost is upwards of $50,000.  But that’s now – eventually the cost will come down.  The size of the unit isn’t mentioned, as shipping one to the space station (or other remote places) might make some things more accessible.

Study: Fresh or Old Blood for Transfusions, Doesn’t Matter

Freshly donated blood is not better than older blood when it is transfused into severely ill patients, a new Canadian-led study reports.

The findings will be a relief to blood collection agencies, which have faced calls to shorten the length of time blood can be stored before it is transfused. In fact, Canadian Blood Services said they were very pleased with the outcome.

“The study supports our current inventory management practices for helping patients receiving transfusions in the intensive care setting,” said Dr. Dana Devine, the agency’s chief medical and scientific officer.

Currently blood can be stored for up to 42 days, though most transfusions involve blood that is about three weeks old. But there has been a growing belief that fresher is better.

Source: Fresh blood no better for transfusions in very ill patients: study

This news builds on a previous study in 2008.  Red blood cells last around four months.  White cells and platelets are quite a bit less.

That said, donations are still necessary.  If you can, please donate and encourage others to do so.  Some have found out they have a rare blood group, and the logistics around this are staggering.  But if you train, be aware of what you should do about donating without impacting your routine.

One Person, Two Sets of DNA: The Strange Case of the Human Chimera

In 1953 a woman known only as “Mrs. McK” entered a blood clinic in northern England. She was there to donate: it was a routine trip, a common gesture of goodwill, but the act would permanently alter Mrs. McK’s perception of herself as well as genetic knowledge of what constitutes an individual body. After Mrs. McK donated her blood and perhaps ate a cookie and drank some juice, she sorted herself out, returned home; in all likelihood she believed that her day had been unremarkable. And for her, it had been. But the piece of herself that she had left at the clinic—that bag of blood meant for a stranger—would have a dizzying journey.

Source: One Person, Two Sets of DNA: The Strange Case of the Human Chimera

Fascinating read!  I’ve got posts that cover rare blood types and logistics, but nothing about have two distinct blood types.  The fact that Mrs McK had the twins blood after 30 years says that it is indeed produced by her body – current belief is that a red blood cell lasts 4 months, white cells last 18-36 hours before removal, and platelets have a lifespan of 9-10 days.

There are things to be aware of when donating blood while training, though to my knowledge people on blood thinner are not allowed to donate.  But if you know someone who can, please encourage them to do so.

Stretching After Exercise: Does it Aid in Recovery?

Learn about the body’s adaptations to different types of post-workout activities. Did you know that serious stretching after a workout is contraindicated for recovery? Instead, avoid serious stretching after training and use a mild exercise to cool down.

Source: Stretching After Exercise: Does it Aid in Recovery?

I’ve done yoga for years, and recently started to practice on my own because it’s been difficult to find a class that meshes with my schedule.  I’ve never used it for recovery, and “restorative” classes are not for me.  The primary focus has been strength and flexibility – my hamstrings love to shrink.  And I’m under the impression I have scoliosis (I recently found out this is just a term for back curvature, it’s not just congenital) so while I don’t feel twists I experience the benefit in a portion of my lower back that constantly needs realignment.  I believe I’ve experienced an improvement in both running and cycling from doing warrior related postures…  While it might not be recovery in the sense that the article talks about, the experiences since I started practicing more regularly suggest it was a good idea.  It helps that I like doing it too.

Guide to Decoding Your Blood Test Results

Spoiler alert: They don’t mention INR.

Apart from the puzzling jargon, the design of bloodwork lab reports is dismal. Wonderful makeovers have been envisioned, but until they’re in use, we’re stuck deciphering highly technical and administrative-looking documents that make tax forms look like an ecard from mom.

But have no fear. You can become literate in your blood test results. Our guide isn’t a comprehensive glossary of technical terms, but it provides basic definitions and a better overall visual sense of how the information on a typical blood test report is presented and organized so you can interpret your blood work with confidence.

Source: The Ultimate Guide to Decoding Your Blood Test Results

Hypochonriacs: Just because something is outside the normal range, does not mean its something to worry about. A lot of times things will be transient and things are often technically abnormal when they aren’t actually clinically significant. For example some people have very low blood pressure, but unless you’re having symptoms of low blood pressure most doctors would not give it a second though.

The article mentions hangry, which has been covered before.