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70% of blood transfusions could contain Xanax, researchers find

Researchers say 100 percent of the samples contained caffeine. In fairness, it was a really -- really -- small study.
Credit: AP Images

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Just imagine. You’re really sick – in the hospital – and it’s touch and go. Doctors and nurses are responding to every delicate machine’s little beep and getting ready to give you a blood transfusion.

Do you trust it? 

Of course! Roll up your sleeves and get pumping, right?

Well – there’s a chance that IV is coming with a little extra kick.

Scientists tested a small random sample of donated blood – cleared for transfusions – and found 70 percent of it had traces of anti-anxiety drugs.

Xanax, to be exact. 

But that wasn’t the only chemical compound lurking under the microscope. Every single sample contained caffeine. Who knew you were supposed to order decaf?

“From a ‘contamination’ standpoint, caffeine is not a big worry for patients, though it may be a commentary on current society,” said Luyinh Chen, the study’s co-author.

The scientists also found over-the-counter cough medicine, but not quite as much.

Their research was published in Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis – but it may not tell the whole story.

Only 18 blood donations were tested. A larger number from various sources would have to be examined to determine how big of a problem this really is for blood supplies across the country.

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