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SCANDAT is a Swedish-Danish

collaboration aimed to improve

transfusion and blood donor safety

Between 2002 and 2004, researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, Akademiska Hospital in Uppsala and the University Hospital in Odense collected and assembled data from all Swedish and Danish blood banks. The data was restructured and entered into the Scandinavian Donations and Transfusions (SCANDAT) database. The database contains data collected over a period of 34 years between 1968 and 2002 on no fewer than 15 million donations made by 1.1 million blood donors and almost 12 million transfusions administered to 1.3 million recipients. In addition to the “core” blood data, the SCANDAT database has been linked to a variety of health outcomes registers such as cancer, inpatient, medical birth and cause of death registers, permitting exciting biomedical research.

Since its finalization in 2004, the SCANDAT database has been used in a large range of publications published in international peer reviewed medical journals. For a complete listing, see Publications. Most of the current research emphasis of the database is on clinical nuances of blood transfusions, with studies of the health effects of long-term storage of red-cell concentrates and of the influence of plasma from female donors. The database, which in its original shape was de-identified and locked to data from 2002 and earlier, was subsequently updated with data until 2013.

The SCANDAT database was originally created for very specific research purposes, to study cancer incidence in blood donors and transfusion recipients, and to investigate the possibility that cancer can be transmitted via blood transfusions. The project has since the beginning been a joint venture between researchers at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, and researchers at the Department of Epidemiology Research, Statens Serum Institut, with collaborators from hospitals and blood banks in Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Uppsala.

The principal investigators of the study are Dr Gustaf Edgren at Karolinska Institutet and Dr Henrik Hjalgrim at Statens Serum Institut, but the work is a wider collaboration involving representatives from several hospitals in both Sweden and Denmark:

  • Dr Agneta Wikman, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Dr Rut Norda, Uppsala Akademiska Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Dr Marja-Kaisa Auvinen, Uppsala Akademiska Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Dr Henrik Ullum, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Dr Christian Erikstrup, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark