Previously undiagnosed anaemia is common in elective orthopaedic surgical patients and is associated with increased likelihood of blood transfusion and increased perioperative morbidity and mortality. A standardized approach for the detection, evaluation, and management of anaemia in this setting has been identified as an unmet medical need. A multidisciplinary panel of physicians was convened by the Network for Advancement of Transfusion Alternatives (NATA) with the aim of developing practice guidelines for the detection, evaluation, and management of preoperative anaemia in elective orthopaedic surgery. A systematic literature review and critical evaluation of the evidence was performed, and recommendations were formulated according to the method proposed by the Grades of Recommendation Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) Working Group. We recommend that elective orthopaedic surgical patients have a haemoglobin (Hb) level determination 28 days before the scheduled surgical procedure if possible (Grade 1C). We suggest that the patient's target Hb before elective surgery be within the normal range, according to the World Health Organization criteria (Grade 2C). We recommend further laboratory testing to evaluate anaemia for nutritional deficiencies, chronic renal insufficiency, and/or chronic inflammatory disease (Grade 1C). We recommend that nutritional deficiencies be treated (Grade 1C). We suggest that erythropoiesis-stimulating agents be used for anaemic patients in whom nutritional deficiencies have been ruled out, corrected, or both (Grade 2A). Anaemia should be viewed as a serious and treatable medical condition, rather than simply an abnormal laboratory value. Implementation of anaemia management in the elective orthopaedic surgery setting will improve patient outcomes.
anaemia; blood transfusion; orthopaedic surgery; preoperative assessment; preoperative preparation
Patient Blood Management (PBM) describes an evidence-based, multidisciplinary therapeutic approach. Its focus is on the treatment of the individual patient and as such comprises transfusion therapy and pharmacotherapy. Furthermore, the applicability of PBM is not limited to the perioperative setting but is applicable also to other therapeutic measures and disciplines where significant blood loss is known to occur and where transfusion of blood products is part of the established treatment. PBM is fundamentally based on 3 pillars: (1) optimization of the (preoperative) erythrocyte volume, (2) reduction of diagnostic, therapeutic, or intraoperative blood loss, and (3) increasing individual tolerance towards anemia and accurate blood transfusion triggers. PBM primarily identifies patients at risk of transfusion and provides a management plan aimed at reducing or eliminating the risk of anemia and the need for allogeneic transfusion, thus reducing the inherent risks, inventory pressures, and the escalating costs associated with transfusion.
Patient blood management; Anemia; Transfusion; Blood loss
Allogeneic blood transfusion (ABT) is frequently used as the first therapeutic option for the treatment of acute anaemia in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), especially when it developed due to gastrointestinal or perioperative blood loss, but is not risk-free. Adverse effects of ABT include, but are not limited to, acute hemolytic reaction (wrong blood or wrong patient), febrile non-hemolytic transfusional reaction, bacterial contamination, transfusion-related acute lung injury, transfusion associated circulatory overload, transfusion-related immuno-modulation, and transmission of almost all infectious diseases (bacteria, virus, protozoa and prion), which might result in increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, the main physiological goal of ABT, i.e. to increase oxygen consumption by the hypoxic tissues, has not been well documented. In contrast, the ABT is usually misused only to increase the haemoglobin level within a fixed protocol [mostly two by two packed red blood cell (PRC) units] independently of the patient’s tolerance to normovolemic anaemia or his clinical response to the transfusion of PRC units according to a “one-by-one” administration schedule. Evidence-based clinical guidelines may promote best transfusion practices by implementing restrictive transfusion protocols, thus reducing variability and minimizing the avoidable risks of transfusion, and the use of autologous blood and pharmacologic alternatives. In this regard, preoperative autologous blood donation (PABD) consistently diminished the frequency of ABT, although its contribution to ABT avoidance is reduced when performed under a transfusion protocol. In addition, interpretation of utility of PABD in surgical IBD patients is hampered by scarcity of published data. However, the role of autologous red blood cells as drug carriers is promising. Finally, it must be stressed that a combination of methods used within well-constructed protocols will offer better prospects for blood conservation in selected IBD patients undergoing elective surgery.
Anaemia; Blood transfusion; Autologous blood transfusion; Inflammatory bowel diseases; Risk assessment
Recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) has been advocated for the treatment of anaemia in patients submitted to cancer chemotherapy. We used decision analysis to compare the cost-effectiveness of rHuEPO supplemented with red blood cell (RBC) transfusions with conventional treatment with RBC transfusions alone. At baseline, we analysed the use of rHuEPO as secondary prophylaxis according to effectiveness estimates from a community-based oncology study. In order to reduce the probability of transfusions from 21.9% to 10.4%, and the number of RBC units per patient per month from 0.55 to 0.29, 150 units kg(-1) s.c. rHuEPO three times per week for 4 months resulted in an incremental cost of $189,652 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY). In patients treated with cisplatin-containing chemotherapy, rHuEPO added $190,142 per QALY. In a hypothetical scenario of a transfusion pattern that maintained the same haemoglobin level of rHuEPO-responsive patients, the marginal cost of rHuEPO was always greater than $100,000 per QALY. Results were stable with regard to variations in the probability of blood-borne infections, quality of life of responding patients and cancer-related mortality. The additional cost could be lowered to less than $100,000 per QALY by saving 4.5 RBC units over 4 months for any patient treated. In conclusion, according to current use, rHuEPO is not cost-effective in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced anaemia. More tailored utilization of the drug and better consideration of predictive response indicators may lead to an effective, blood-sparing alternative.
Background and objectives
Many patients with chronic anaemia require blood transfusions as part of their treatment regimen. As a result, iron overload will inevitably develop if not adequately managed by iron chelation therapy. There are many guidelines relating to transfusion and chelation practices for patients with transfusion-dependent anaemia; however, there is a lack of information on how treatment practices differ around the world. The objective of this manuscript is to highlight key features of current transfusion and chelation management, including similarities and differences across various anaemias and between geographical regions worldwide.
Materials and methods
Data collected at study entry to the multicentre Evaluation of Patients’ Iron Chelation with Exjade (EPIC) study, which recruited 1,744 patients with a variety of transfusion-dependent anaemias across 23 countries from three geographic regions, were assessed. These analyses compared transfusion and chelation treatment prior to the start of study treatment, together with iron burden assessed at study entry by serum ferritin, liver iron concentration and labile plasma iron levels.
Results and conclusions
Data show that transfusion and iron chelation practices differ between anaemias and between geographical regions; this may be linked to availability and accessibility of transfusion and chelation therapy, patients’ compliance, physicians’ attitudes, costs and use of treatment guidelines. Approximately 60% of these transfusion-dependent patients were severely iron overloaded with a serum ferritin level over 2,500 ng/mL, indicating that the risks of iron burden may have been underestimated and current iron chelation therapy, if considered, may not have been adequate to control iron burden.
transfusion practice; chelation practice; iron overload
It is widely assumed that, at matched transfusional iron-loading rates, responses to chelation therapy are similar, irrespective of the underlying condition. However, data are limited for rare transfusion-dependent anaemias, and it remains to be elucidated if response differs, depending on whether the anaemia has a primary haemolytic or production mechanism.
The efficacy and safety of deferasirox (Exjade®) in rare transfusion-dependent anaemias were evaluated over 1 yr, with change in serum ferritin as the primary efficacy endpoint. Initial deferasirox doses were 10–30 mg/kg/d, depending on transfusion requirements; 34 patients had production anaemias, and 23 had haemolytic anaemias.
Patients with production anaemias or haemolytic anaemias had comparable transfusional iron-loading rates (0.31 vs. 0.30 mL red blood cells/kg/d), mean deferasirox dosing (19.3 vs. 19.0 mg/kg/d) and baseline median serum ferritin (2926 vs. 2682 ng/mL). Baseline labile plasma iron (LPI) levels correlated significantly with the transfusional iron-loading rates and with serum ferritin levels in both cohorts. Reductions in median serum ferritin levels were initially faster in the production than the haemolytic anaemias, but at 1 yr, similar significant reductions of 940 and 617 ng/mL were attained, respectively (−26.0% overall). Mean LPI decreased significantly in patients with production (P < 0.0001) and haemolytic (P = 0.037) anaemias after the first dose and was maintained at normal mean levels (<0.4 μm) subsequently. The most common drug-related, investigator-assessed adverse events were diarrhoea (n = 16) and nausea (n = 12).
At matched transfusional iron-loading rates, the responses of rare transfusion-dependent anaemias to deferasirox are similar at 1 yr, irrespective of the underlying pathogenic mechanism.
rare anaemias; iron overload; iron chelation therapy; serum ferritin; safety
Thirty grossly anaemic pregnant Nigerian women with venous haematocrit levels varying between 6 and 17%, had their plasma volumes estimated by the Evans blue dye dilution technique, both before and immediately after direct transfusion of packed blood cells. Parenteral ethacrynic acid was added to the blood for transfusion in 20 patients, seven of whom were in anaemic heart failure on admission. Ethacrynic acid used in this way was successful in the prevention of acute pulmonary oedema, and it produced acute diuresis as well as a reduction of plasma volume in the majority of cases. This technique of direct transfusion with ethacrynic acid is simple, and it may well replace exchange transfusion as a means of treating patients with anaemic heart failure.
Most infants with birth weight <1.0 kg are given multiple red blood cell (RBC) transfusions within the first few weeks of life. The anaemia of prematurity is caused by untimely birth occuring before placental iron transport and fetal erythropoiesis are complete, by phlebotomy blood losses taken for laboratory testing, by low plasma levels of erythropoietin due to both diminished production and accelerated catabolism, by rapid body growth and need for commensurate increase in red cell volume/mass, and by disorders causing RBC losses due to bleeding and/or hemolysis. RBC transfusions are the mainstay of therapy with recombinant human erythropoietin largely unused because it fails to substantially diminish RBC transfusion needs — despite exerting substantial erythropoietic effects on neonatal marrow.
OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that perioperative transfusion of allogeneic and autologous red blood cells (RBCs) stored for a prolonged period speeds biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer after prostatectomy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We evaluated biochemical prostate cancer recurrence in men who had undergone radical prostatectomy and perioperative blood transfusions from July 6, 1998, through December 27, 2007. Those who received allogeneic blood transfusions were assigned to nonoverlapping “younger,” “middle,” and “older” RBC storage duration groups. Those who received autologous RBC transfusions were analyzed using the maximum storage duration as the primary exposure. We evaluated the association between RBC storage duration and biochemical recurrence using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression.
RESULTS: A total of 405 patients received allogeneic transfusions. At 5 years, the biochemical recurrence–free survival rate was 74%, 71%, and 76% for patients who received younger, middle, and older RBCs, respectively; our Cox model indicated no significant differences in biochemical recurrence rates between the groups (P=.82; Wald test). Among patients who received autologous transfusions (n=350), maximum RBC age was not significantly associated with biochemical cancer recurrence (P=.95). At 5 years, the biochemical recurrence–free survival rate was 85% and 81% for patients who received younger and older than 21-day-old RBCs, respectively.
CONCLUSION: In patients undergoing radical prostatectomy who require RBC transfusion, recurrence risk does not appear to be independently associated with blood storage duration.
The authors evaluated the association between duration of red blood cell storage and biochemical recurrence of cancer in men who had undergone radical prostatectomy and perioperative blood transfusions. Recurrence risk does not appear to be independently associated with blood storage duration.
Chemotherapy-induced anaemia is a common and significant complication of chemotherapy treatment. Blood transfusion and administration of Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents (ESAs) either alone or in combination with iron are the most widely used therapeutic options. In Greece, ESAs are among the top ten therapeutic groups with the highest pharmaceutical expenditure, since they are fully reimbursed by social security funds. The objective of the study is to determine potential cost savings related with the use of biosimilar over originator ESAs for the management of the newly diagnosed chemotherapy-induced anemic patients.
A budget impact analysis has been carried through the elaboration of national epidemiological, clinical and economic data. Epidemiological data derived from WHO (GLOBOCAN) and the European Cancer Anaemia Survey. Clinical data reflect oncology patients’ disease management. ESAs consumption was based on data from the biggest social security fund (IKA). The administration of ESAs under different dosing schemes and time periods has been estimated by separating them in originators and biosimilars as well as by classifying anaemic patients in responders and non-responders. Cost analysis is based on newly diagnosed patients’ alternative treatment scenarios. Treatment costs and prices are used in 2012 values. The Social Security Funds’s perspective was undertaken.
Based on the annual incidence rates, 2.551 newly diagnosed chemotherapy-induced anemic patients are expected to be treated with ESAs. Average cost of treatment on originators ESAs for responders is €2.887 for the 15-week ESAs treatment and €5.019 for non-responders, while on biosimilars €2.623 and €4.009 respectively. Treatment cost on biosimilars is 10.1% lower than originators for responders and 25.2% for non-responders. Budget impact estimates show that treating anemic patients with originator ESAs was estimated at €10.084.800 compared to €8.460.119 when biosimilar ESAs were used, leading to an overall 19,20% cost reduction favoring biosimilars.
In Greece, the treatment on biosimilar ESAs seems to be a cost saving option over originators for the newly diagnosed chemotherapy-induced anemic patients, since it corresponds to 5% of the annual overall consumption and expands patients’ access to ESAs treatment. Health care decision making should rely on evidence based treatments in order to achieve social funds’ sustainability in an era of economic recession.
Budget impact; Biosimilars; Erythropoiesis Stimulating agents (ESAs); Greece
A 55-year-old Filipina with Grave's disease, diabetes, hypertension, bronchial asthma, Parkinson's disease and a history of adverse drug reaction to penicillin consulted due to high-grade fever and sore throat. Patient was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia secondary to methimazole and was treated with high-dose granulocyte colony stimulating factor, thrombopoietin and mesterolone. Antibiotics used included levofloxacin, clindamycin, amikacin and fluconazole. Due to bleeding and slow recovery of blood parameters, 30 units of platelets and 7 units of packed red blood cells were transfused during her 22-day admission. This case presents a life-threatening adverse drug reaction in a patient with co-morbid conditions that complicate recovery and limit one's therapeutic options.
The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence, risk factors and prognostic impact of anaemia and thrombocytopenia in patients with bone metastases (BM) from prostate cancer.
Retrospective cohort study including 51 consecutive patients treated at a community hospital. Twenty-nine patients (57%) received taxotere after diagnosis of BM.
Haemoglobin (Hb) ≤ 12.0 g/dL at BM detection was associated with shorter overall survival. During follow-up, 25 patients (49%) experienced episodes with Hb < 10 g/dL unrelated to side effects of cancer therapy. Fifteen patients required red blood cell transfusion. Median time from diagnosis of BM to Hb < 10 g/dL was 23 months. Median survival from Hb < 10 g/dL was 5.4 months. There was no factor predicting for Hb < 10 g/dL. Five patients (10%) developed thrombocyte (Trc) count <50 × 109/L. All of these had previously received blood transfusion. Median interval from Hb < 10 g/dL to Trc < 50 × 109/L was 2.5 months. Survival after thrombocytopenia was short (3 weeks to 4 months). Haematuria and subdural haematoma were among the causes of death.
We found high rates of significant bone marrow failure in treatment-refractory patients. Both Hb < 10 g/dL and Trc < 50 × 109/L predict for unfavourable survival.
Critically ill patients receive an extraordinarily large number of blood transfusions. Between 40% and 50% of all patients admitted to intensive care units receive at least 1 red blood cell (RBC) unit during their stay, and the average is close to 5 RBC units. RBC transfusion is not risk free. There is little evidence that 'routine' transfusion of stored allogeneic RBCs is beneficial to critically ill patients. The efficacy of perioperative recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) has been demonstrated in a variety of elective surgical settings. Similarly, in critically ill patients with multiple organ failure, rHuEPO therapy will also stimulate erythropoiesis. In a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, therapy with rHuEPO resulted in a significant reduction in RBC transfusions. Despite receiving fewer RBC transfusions, patients in the rHuEPO group had a significantly greater increase in hematocrit. Strategies to increase the production of RBCs are complementary to other approaches to reduce blood loss in the intensive care unit, and they decrease the transfusion threshold in the management of all critically ill patients.
anemia; blood transfusion; critical illness; erythropoietin
Epoetin-β is used to treat patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy to alleviate the symptoms of anaemia, reduce the risk of blood transfusions and improve quality of life (QoL).
This meta-analysis of all 12 randomised, controlled studies of epoetin-β evaluated the impact of therapy at different Hb-initiation levels and to different target Hb levels on overall survival, tumour progression and thromboembolic events (TEE). An analysis of risk factors pre-disposing patients to TEEs under epoetin-β therapy was also performed. A total of 2297 patients are included in the analysis.
Analyses based on various Hb-initiation levels indicate no detrimental impact on survival (HR 0.99; 95% CI 0.70, 1.40) and a favourable impact on disease progression (HR 0.73; 95% CI 0.57, 0.94) when epoetin-β was used within its licensed indication (Hb initiation ⩽10 g dl−1) or the EORTC recommended level of 11 g dl−1. An increased risk of TEEs is seen for all Hb-initiation level strata and a detrimental impact on survival is seen when initiating epoetin-β therapy at Hb levels >11 g dl−1. We observe no association between high target Hb levels (⩾13 g dl−1) and an increased risk of mortality, disease progression or TEEs with epoetin-β compared with control.
The results of this analysis indicate that epoetin-β therapy has no detrimental impact on survival or tumour progression when initiated at Hb levels up to 11 g dl−1. Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that high Hb values achieved during epoetin-β therapy are associated with an increased mortality, disease progression or TEE rate.
anaemia; epoetin-β; survival
Haemolytic anaemia of obscure aetiology is a common complication of pregnancy in Nigeria. Treatment with antimalarials and folic acid is usually followed by a rapid remission, but response is slow in about 25% of patients and haemolysis continues uncontrolled in about 5%. The administration of prednisolone to six patients with uncontrolled haemolysis was followed by rapid recovery in five and possible benefit in one. Risks of prednisolone therapy to the mother appear to be slight and outweighed by the risks of continued severe anaemia and frequent blood transfusions. There seemed to be no appreciable increase of fetal loss compared with that in anaemic pregnancies not treated with prednisolone.
Guidelines for the management of anaemia in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) recommend a minimal haemoglobin (Hb) target of 11 g/dL. Recent surveys indicate that this requirement is not met in many patients in Europe. In most studies, Hb is only assessed over a short-term period. The aim of this study was to examine the control of anaemia over a continuous long-term period in Switzerland.
A prospective multi-centre observational study was conducted in dialysed patients treated with recombinant human epoetin (EPO) beta, over a one-year follow-up period, with monthly assessments of anaemia parameters.
Three hundred and fifty patients from 27 centres, representing 14% of the dialysis population in Switzerland, were included. Mean Hb was 11.9 ± 1.0 g/dL, and remained stable over time. Eighty-five % of the patients achieved mean Hb ≥ 11 g/dL. Mean EPO dose was 155 ± 118 IU/kg/week, being delivered mostly by subcutaneous route (64–71%). Mean serum ferritin and transferrin saturation were 435 ± 253 μg/L and 30 ± 11%, respectively. At month 12, adequate iron stores were found in 72.5% of patients, whereas absolute and functional iron deficiencies were observed in only 5.1% and 17.8%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that diabetes unexpectedly influenced Hb towards higher levels (12.1 ± 0.9 g/dL; p = 0.02). One year survival was significantly higher in patients with Hb ≥ 11 g/dL than in those with Hb <11 g/dL (19.7% vs 7.3%, p = 0.006).
In comparison to European studies of reference, this survey shows a remarkable and continuous control of anaemia in Swiss dialysis centres. These results were reached through moderately high EPO doses, mostly given subcutaneously, and careful iron therapy management.
Various adsorption techniques are available to remove serum autoantibodies and subsequently detect the underlying alloantibody in previously transfused patients with autoimmune haemolytic anaemia. We planned to establish a suitable adsorption technique in our transfusion service which can remove all autoantibodies and detect underlying alloantibodies rapidly, cheaply and effectively.
Study design and methods
We evaluated 71 direct antiglobulin test-reactive patients with warm AIHA over a period of 20 months. Twenty-three of these 71 patients who had a previous history of blood transfusion or pregnancy and were confirmed carriers of autoantibodies (indirect antiglobulin test-reactive) were considered for the adsorption study. Depending on the adequacy of samples, history of blood transfusion and severity of anaemia either autoadsorption or alloadsorption or both using polyethylene glycol (PEG) or low ionic strength saline (LISS)-papain were performed.
Underlying alloantibodies were detected in 7 of the 23 patients (30.4%) and all these were specific to Rhesus antigens. The mean number of alloadsorptions for complete autoantibody removal using PEG was 1.43 which was significantly lower than the 3.9 using the LISS-papain method (p<0.05). The mean time required by PEG alloadsorption and LISS-papain alloadsorption for autoantibody removal was 93.6 minutes and 177.7 minutes, respectively (p<0.05). Discordant results were not observed in any case and identical alloantibodies were detected by both the techniques.
We found that the PEG method is a rapid, cheap and effective way to remove autoantibodies and detect underlying alloantibodies.
AIHA; adsorption; autoantibody; alloantibody
Malaria is an annual killer of over one million people globally and its essential co-morbidity is anaemia. Cord blood, because of its rich mix of foetal and adult haemoglobin, high platelet and WBC counts, hypo-antigenic nature, altered metabolic profile and high affinity for oxygen as well as its anti-malarial effect, is an ideal choice in malaria with anaemia, necessitating blood transfusion.
This paper presents an alternative protocol for fresh whole blood/packed cell transfusion from the hospital's biological waste resources, i.e., the placenta, after the birth of a healthy baby from a healthy mother. This collected blood was routinely transfused to patients admitted in our hospital with severe anaemia in the background of confirmed malaria. 94 units of placental umbilical cord whole blood were collected after lower uterine caesarean section (LUCS) from consenting mothers (from 1st April 1999 to April 2005), and safely transfused to 39 informed, consenting patients (age varying from 8 to 72 years). The collected volume of cord blood from each placenta (Unit) varied from 52 ml to 143 ml, with a mean packed cell volume of 48.9 ± 4.1 SD and a mean haemoglobin concentration of 16.4 Gm percent ± 1.6 Gm percent SD. The blood was immediately transfused after following the standard adult blood transfusion protocol of screening and cross-matching between the donor and the recipient. On occasion, the collected cord blood was preserved in the refrigerator, if no volunteer was readily available, and transfused within 72 hours of collection.
Cord blood transfusion was tested on twenty two patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum and 17 patients with Plasmodium vivax. For inclusion in this study, the patient's plasma haemoglobin had to be 8 gm percent or less (the pre-transfusion haemoglobin in the malaria-infected patients in this series varied from 5.4 gm/dl to 7.9 gm/dl). The rise of haemoglobin within 72 hours of two units of freshly collected cord blood transfusion was 0.5 gm/dl to 1.6 gm/dl. Each patient received two to six units of freshly collected cord blood transfusion (two units at a time), depending on availability and compatibility. No clinical immunological or non-immunological reaction has been encountered in this series.
Properly screened cord blood is safe for transfusion, in victims of severe malarial anaemia who need transfusion support.
The aim of this study was to conduct a Regional survey to determine the policies and ways of performing the direct antiglobulin test in pre-transfusion screening, the approach used in cases giving positive results with this test and the technical and operative modalities for choosing blood for transfusion in cases of autoimmune haemolytic anaemia.
Materials and methods
A questionnaire, containing ten multiple-choice questions, was sent to all the transfusion centres in the Region of Tuscany.
The data from all 40 regional centres were analysed. Direct antiglobulin tests and autocontrols were not regularly used in pre-transfusion screening. The direct antiglobulin test was predominantly reserved for suspected cases of autoimmune haemolytic anaemia. Sixty percent of the laboratories characterised the specificity of samples that were positive for IgG and complement by the direct antiglobulin test, 45% that were positive for IgM, 35% also for IgA, and 13% also for subclasses of IgG. Elution studies were reserved (in 18% of laboratories) for those cases in which it was expected that transfusion therapy would be used. In cases of autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, autologous/allogeneic adsorption was carried out in 27% of the structures (the use of proteolytic enzymes is predominant, followed by the “ZZAP” reagent – a mixture of dithiothreitol and an enzyme) and the dilution method in 20%; transfusion of red blood cells with a phenotype extensively compatible (c, C, D, E, e, K, Jka, Jkb, Fya, Fyb, S, s) with that of the recipient is practised in 17% of the centres, while transfusion of units of “least incompatible” red blood cells was reported by 95% of the centres, but in 88% this is preceded by at least one of the above mentioned immunohaematological investigations.
The organisation of a network of Services of Immunohaematology and Transfusion Medicine can be exploited to overcome some technical and operative limitations of peripheral, dependent Transfusion Sections. The results of this study reveal which immunohaematology laboratory is endowed with the greatest potential and which could, therefore, become the regional reference centre. This investigation could lay the basis for defining behavioural algorithms and recommendations on the issues considered.
direct antiglobulin test; alloantibody; autoantibody; autoimmune haemolytic anaemia; blood transfusion
Pregnancy following idiopathic aplastic anaemia is rare and is difficult to manage because of life-threatening episodes of bleeding and infections. Only a handful of cases has been reported in the literature. The pregnancies were unsuccessful in the majority. The present report describes a patient with moderately severe idiopathic aplastic anaemia who was managed with intensive haematological support leading to delivery of a healthy infant by caesarean section. Despite platelet transfusion refractoriness as a result of transfusions prior to pregnancy, adequate platelet transfusions prevented excessive bleeding. The literature is reviewed and management with platelet transfusions is discussed.
Cancer patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy often become anaemic and may require blood transfusions. A large-scale audit of patients with a variety of solid tumours receiving chemotherapy at 28 specialist centers throughout the UK was undertaken to quantify the problem. Data were available from 2719 patients receiving 3206 courses of cytotoxic chemotherapy for tumours of the breast (878), ovary (856), lung (772) or testis (213). Their mean age was 55 years (range 16–87). Overall, 33% of patients required at least one blood transfusion but the proportion varied from 19% for breast cancer to 43% for lung. Sixteen per cent of patients required more than one transfusion (7% for breast, 22% in lung). The mean proportion of patients with Hb < 11 g dl−1rose over the course of chemotherapy from 17% before the first cycle, to 38% by the sixth, despite transfusion in 33% of patients. Of the patients receiving transfusions, 25% required an inpatient admission and overnight stay. The most common symptoms reported at the time of transfusion were lethargy, tiredness and breathlessness. Further research is needed to evaluate the role of blood transfusions in patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
anaemia; blood transfusion; antineoplastic agents; growth substances; erythropoietin
Twenty-nine patients were given an intraperitoneal transfusion of blood. The procedure was found to be free of serious complications. Study of the absorption of an 51Cr-labelled cells from the peritoneum in 14 patients showed that between 35 and 100% of the blood was absorbed intact in 6 to 10 days. Intraperitoneal transfusion may be indicated as an alternative or as an addition to exchange transfusion in severe hookworm anaemia.
Severe anaemic foetuses of Rhesus (Rh) isoimmunised mothers are usually treated by intrauterine transfusion (IUT). It is helpful to determine the volume of blood necessary to raise the concentration of haemoglobin by 1.0 g/dL in response to intrauterine transfusions.
In this cross-sectional, observational study we evaluated 107 first IUT for the correction of anaemia caused by haemolysis triggered by maternal Rh immunisation. The concentration of foetal haemoglobin was determined in umbilical cord blood before and after the IUT. The variation in foetal concentration of haemoglobin after transfusion was compared between groups of hydropic and non-hydropic foetuses, between groups of foetuses with different degrees of anaemia and with groups of gestational age less than or more than 28 weeks. The t-test for averages and ANOVA were used to compare average differences among the groups. p values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant.
Fifty-five (61.4%) foetuses were found to be anaemic while hydrops was observed in 40 (44%) at the time of the IUT. The volume of red blood cell concentrate infused varied from 5 to 90 mL, with 11.2±1.5 mL being necessary to raise the circulating concentration of haemoglobin by 1.0 g/dL. The foetal response was not influenced significantly by either the degree of foetal anaemia (p=0.56) or the presence of hydrops (p=0.17). The foetuses with a gestational age of 28 weeks or less required a smaller volume of red blood cell concentrate than those with a gestational age of more than 28 weeks (9.3±5.4 mL and 13.4±4.8 mL, respectively; p<0.0001) in order to raise their concentration of circulating haemoglobin by 1.0 g/dL.
The volume of red blood cell concentrate necessary to correct anaemia in pregnancies complicated by Rh isoimmunisation must be considered carefully, since the response to the infusion of blood is peculiar in extremely premature infants. Hydrops and the degree of anaemia were not determinants of the change in the final concentration of circulating haemoglobin following the blood transfusion.
foetal anaemia; Rh isoimmunisation; intrauterine transfusion; blood volume
Developing countries have high prevalence of diseases, but facilities to diagnose and treat them are limited. We must use available resources in ways not needed where there are sophisticated equipment and trained staff. Anaemia is common; iron deficiency affects health and productivity; folate deficiency in pregnant women causes foetal abnormalities. Few developing countries can measure serum folate or ferritin, but standard automated blood analyses are widely available and can help predict folate and iron deficiency. The RDW-CV% (coefficient of variation of the red cell width) measures the variability in the size of red blood cells (RBC) in routine automated analysis of blood cells, but is seldom reported. Levels of RDW-CV% and haemoglobin (Hb) can predict iron deficiency anaemia.
Method and results
I have written a computer model based on the standard mechanism for blood formation and destruction. This shows that before anaemia develops and during recovery, there are both normal and abnormal RBC (small in iron deficiency and large in folate deficiency) in the circulation. The model calculates the abnormality in the RDW-CV% in standard automated blood analyses. In early iron deficiency and during recovery the full blood count shows the Hb near the lower limit of normal, a low MCV and a high RDW-CV%. A similar pattern, but with a higher MCV, develops in folate deficiency. Folate deficiency is often brief and may not cause anaemia. The high RDW-CV% may persist for three months.
This long footprint could be medically useful for detecting folate deficiency and so limiting foetal damage in individuals and communities. Few clinicians or public health workers know about RDW-CV%. Standard blood reports for clinical use should include the RDW-CV% and note the possible significance of abnormal values.
A patient, who underwent aortic valve replacement, developed a transient, autoimmune haemolytic anaemia in association with a significant rise in titre of antibodies against cytomegalovirus. A serological survey of blood donors indicated that the source of infection was fresh blood transfused during and shortly after surgery. A number of cases of short-lived haemolytic anaemia after large volume blood transfusion with cardiac surgery may be explained by this mechanism. It may be preferable to use only blood that has been screened for evidence of recent cytomegalovirus infection if post-perfusion complications of this disease are to be avoided.