Red blood cell transfusions after a during coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) increases the risk of pneumonia.

“Pneumonia is a known risk following CABG surgery, and developing it has been shown to significantly increase a patient’s risk of morbidity and mortality,” said Donald S. Likosky, PhD, from the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, who led the study. “Previous research has shown that one in every 20 CABG patients develop a major infection, with pneumonia being the most common type of infection.”