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Paediatric blood transfusion practices at a regional referral hospital in Kenya

Nabwera, Helen, Fegan, Greg, Shavadia, Jay, Mandaliya, Kishor, Bates, Imelda ORCID: and Hassall, Oliver (2016) 'Paediatric blood transfusion practices at a regional referral hospital in Kenya'. Transfusion, Vol 56, Issue 11, pp. 2732-2738.

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Severe anaemia in children is a major public health problem in sub- Saharan Africa. Appropriate In this study we describe clinical and operational aspects of blood transfusion in children admitted to Coast Provincial General Hospital, Kenya.

Study design and methods
Observational study where over a 2-year period, demographic and laboratory data were collected on all children for whom the hospital blood bank received a transfusion request. Clinical data were obtained by retrospective review of case notes over the first year.

There were 2789 requests for blood for children (median age, 1.8 years; IQR 0.6-6.6); 70% (1950) samples were crossmatched with 85% (1663/1950) issued. Ninety percent (1505/1663) were presumed transfused. Median time from laboratory receipt of request to collection of blood was 3.6 hours (IQR 1.4-12.8). Case notes of 590 children were reviewed and median pre-transfusion haemoglobin was 6.0g/dL (IQR 4.2-9.1). Ninety four percent (186) were transfused ‘appropriately’ whilst 52% (120) were transfused ‘inappropriately’. There was significant disagreement between the clinical and laboratory diagnosis of severe anaemia (Exact McNemar’s test; p<0.0001). Anti-malarials were prescribed for 65% (259) of children who received blood transfusions but only 41% (106) of these had a positive blood film.

In this setting, clinicians often order blood based on the clinical impression of ‘severe anaemia’. This has implications for laboratory workload and the blood supply itself. However, the majority children with severe anaemia were appropriately transfused. The use of anti-malarials with blood transfusions irrespective of blood film results is common practice.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QV Pharmacology > Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Anti-Infective Agents. Antineoplastic Agents > QV 256 Antimalarials
WB Practice of Medicine > Therapeutics > WB 356 Blood transfusion
WH Hemic and Lymphatic Systems > Hematologic Diseases. Immunologic Factors. Blood Banks > WH 155 Anemia
WS Pediatrics > Diseases of Children and Adolescents > By System > WS 300 Hemic and lymphatic system
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Rachel Dominguez
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2016 10:20
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2020 17:06


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