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Detection of Adverse Events of Transfusion in a Teaching Hospital in Ghana

Owusu-Ofori, Alex K, Owusu-Ofori, Shirley P and Bates, Imelda ORCID: (2017) 'Detection of Adverse Events of Transfusion in a Teaching Hospital in Ghana'. Transfusion Medicine, Vol 27, Issue 3, pp. 175-180.

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Background and objectives

Monitoring the whole chain of events from the blood donors to recipients, documenting any undesirable or untoward effects and introducing measures to prevent their recurrence if possible, are components of haemovigilance systems. Only few sub-Saharan African countries have haemovigilance systems and there are very little data on adverse events of transfusion. Adverse events monitoring is an integral part of a haemovigilance system. Our study aimed to establish the incidence and types of adverse events of transfusions in Ghana and to identify interventions to improve effectiveness.

Materials and method
This prospective observational 1-year study enrolled 372 recipients of 432 transfusions in a Ghanaian teaching hospital. Vital signs were monitored at 15 and 30 minutes, and 60-minute intervals during the transfusion, then 8 hourly until 24 hours post-transfusion. Three investigators independently classified any new signs and symptoms according to Serious Hazards of Transfusion definitions.

The adverse events incidence was 21.3% (92/432), predominantly mild acute transfusion reactions (84%). Twenty transfusions (4.6%) were stopped before completion, 60% of them for mild febrile reactions, which could have been managed with transfusion in-situ

This prospective study indicates a high incidence of adverse events of transfusion in Kumasi Ghana. The significant numbers of discontinued transfusions, suggest that guidelines on how to manage transfusion reactions would help preserve scarce blood stocks. Gradual implementation of a haemovigilance system, starting with monitoring adverse transfusion events is a pragmatic approach in resource-limited settings.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: ?? W_18 ??
W General Medicine. Health Professions > Professional practice > W88 Administrative work. Teaching. Research
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WB Practice of Medicine > Therapeutics > WB 356 Blood transfusion
WH Hemic and Lymphatic Systems > Hematologic Diseases. Immunologic Factors. Blood Banks > WH 460 Blood bank procedures
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Rachel Dominguez
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2017 16:22
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2019 08:23


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