A boy in Canada tested positive for food allergies after a blood transfusion, a report stated.
Written by doctors who treated the 8-year-old boy, the report was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The boy, who previously had no history of food allergies of any sort, suddenly became allergic to fish and nuts after a blood transfusion as treatment for medulloblastoma (a type of brain cancer).
He experienced severe allergic reactions to salmon and, after testing, was found to be allergic to fish and most nuts.
Incident may lead to change in blood donation process
Doctors believe the boy received the protein that triggers an allergic reaction to the foods during the blood transfusion. It's not unheard of and has been documented before, though only very rarely.
The IgE (immunoglobulin E) antibody can be transferred through blood, but the allergies received are usually temporary and fade as the host's blood is replaced naturally. This process usually takes a few months. In this boy's case, his skin prick tests showed little reaction to the allergens five months after the initial reactions were recorded.
This was the first documented case report involving a child, the publishers believe, and the first time the transfusion was for blood plasma rather than whole-unit blood. The donor had documented allergies to nuts, fish and shellfish.
Canadian officials are now considering marking or refusing blood donations from those with severe food allergies.