Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, approached AMSTAT consulting to investigate blood transfusions’ safety and potential health risks. Specifically, the hospital aimed to determine whether there was a significant difference in cancer risk among recipients who had undergone blood transfusions. The consulting team utilized a comprehensive survey-based study to achieve this goal, collecting responses from 8,000 patients over two years.

We determined the sample size using a robust power analysis. We specified the anticipated effect size, significance level (alpha), and desired power (1—beta) parameters.

The central hypothesis guiding this research project was as follows: H1: There is a significant difference in cancer risk among recipients based on blood transfusions. The team rigorously tested this hypothesis using a chi-square test, a powerful statistical tool for assessing the association between categorical variables.

Contrary to the initial hypothesis, the research results indicated no statistically significant difference in cancer risk among recipients based on whether they had undergone blood transfusions. This finding showed that blood transfusions were not associated with increased cancer risk in this patient population.

Massachusetts General Hospital derived valuable insights from this research endeavor. By learning that blood transfusions had no significant effect on cancer risk, Massachusetts General Hospital gained reassurance regarding the safety of this medical procedure for cancer development. This knowledge alleviated concerns among healthcare providers and patients and informed decision-making regarding blood transfusions when medically necessary.


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