Two cases of transfusion transmitted Yersinia enterocolitica biotype 3, serotype 09 infection occurred in south east Scotland within four months of each other. In one case, a 79 year old man died the day after receiving a unit of red cell concentrate that had been stored for 29 days after donation. In the second case a 78 year old man died three days after transfusion of a unit of red cell concentrate that had been collected 16 days before transfusion. The donors of both units had no symptoms attributed to gastrointestinal infection. Early outdating of blood for transfusion after three weeks of storage is unlikely to eradicate Y enterocolitica associated fatalities from blood transfusion, and alternative methods should be considered.
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