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Journal retracts article about age of transfused blood three years after publication

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 20 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2057
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. 1New York

    A medical journal has reversed its controversial 2007 decision not to retract a flawed study. The journal, Anesthesia and Analgesia, refused to retract a study concerning the age of transfused blood and mortality despite acknowledging that the statistical analysis was erroneous.

    The journal’s position provoked outrage when the editor continued to defend the article even after the study investigators said that the underlying data had been lost.

    The journal’s editor, Steven Shafer, issued the retraction (Anesthesia and Analgesia 2009;108:1953) after the authors, Sukhjeewan Basran and colleagues, wrote a letter (2009;108:1991) requesting retraction of their 2006 paper, in which they concluded that surgical patients who received red blood cells that had been stored for more than 30 days were more likely to die than patients who received fresher blood.

    The study’s corresponding author, …

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