Fatal Yersinia enterocolitica (Serotype 0:5,27) Sepsis after Blood Transfusion

James R. Stubbs, Ramakrishna L. Reddy, Steven A. Elg, Elizabeth H. Perry, Leon L. Adcock, Jeffrey Mc Cullough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Abstract. Septicemia is a rare complication of blood transfusion. This is probably primarily due to the use of sealed disposable containers for blood collection and the storage of red cell‐containing components at 4°C. However, despite these measures, septicemia due to blood transfusion continues to occur. We report here a fatal case of Yersinia enterocolitica septicemia due to a contaminated unit of red cells which was collected from an apparently healthy, asymptomatic blood donor. The organism grows at cold temperature and multiplies during storage of red blood cell‐containing components. Contaminated components do not show any visible abnormalities. The possibility of transfusion‐transmitted Y. enterocolitica should be considered in patients who have symptoms of sepsis or shock following transfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalVox Sanguinis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1991


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