Many factors have resulted in the slow development of transfusion services in some South Asian countries. Despite difficulties, there have been some excellent developments and the outlook for the future is very positive. The biggest problems relate to the availability of the truly voluntary altruistic blood donors and considerable work is still needed to upgrade this aspect of the work. Screening for transfusion transmissible diseases is now widespread although there is still a requirement to enhance quality assurance procedures and to improve statistical definitions and collection. Other factors that have affected the evolution of immunohematology are outlined and there is now optimism for the future.
Immunohematology; blood donors; blood donation
Adverse transfusion reactions can cause morbidity and death to patients who receive a blood transfusion. Blood transfusion practice in Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda is analyzed to see if and when these practices play a role in the morbidity and mortality of patients.
Materials and Methods:
An observational study on three wards of Mulago Hospital. Physicians, paramedics, nurses, medical students and nurse students were observed using two questionnaires. For comparison, a limited observational study was performed in the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG) in Groningen, The Netherlands.
In Mulago Hospital guidelines for blood transfusion practice were not easily available. Medical staff members work on individual professional levels. Students perform poorly due to inconsistency in their supervision. Documentation of blood transfusion in patient files is scarce. There is no immediate bedside observation, so transfusion reactions and obstructions in the blood transfusion flow are not observed.
The poor blood transfusion practice is likely to play a role in the morbidity and mortality of patients who receive a blood transfusion. There is a need for a blood transfusion policy and current practical guidelines.
Blood transfusion; developing country; observational study; practice; transfusion reactions
Despite the wide range of methods available for measurement of hemoglobin, no single technique has emerged as the most appropriate and ideal for a blood donation setup.
Materials and Methods:
A prospective study utilizing 1014 blood samples was carried out in a blood donation setting for quality evaluation of four methods of hemoglobin estimation along with cost analysis: Hematology cell analyzer (reference), HCS, CuSO4 method and HemoCue.
Mean value of HemoCue (mean ± SD = 14.7 ± 1.49 g/dl) was higher by 0.24 compared to reference (mean ± SD = 13.8 ± 1.52 g/dl) but not statistically significant ( P > 0.05). HemoCue proved to be the best technique (sensitivity 99.4% and specificity 84.4%) whereas HCS was most subjective with 25.2% incorrect estimations. CuSO4 proved to be good with 7.9% false results. Comparative cost analysis of each method was calculated to be 35 INR/test for HemoCue, 0.76 INR /test for HCS and 0.06-0.08 INR /test for CuSO4.
CuSO4 method gives accurate results, if strict quality control is applied. HemoCue is too expensive to be used as a primary screening method in an economically restricted country like India.
Blood donation; CuSO4; hemoglobin estimation; HemoCue; HCS; cost analysis
The present study was carried out in B.A.R.C. Hospital Blood Bank over a span of five years, and includes 2734 donors. All the bags were screened for HIV, HBsAg, HCV and VDRL and the plasma in the pilot tubes of the blood bags was observed to detect any abnormality in color. In 27 cases plasma was found to be icteric and liver function tests were carried out on these samples. Two donors showed higher SGPT level, and were excluded. No significant increases in liver enzymes were recorded in the others. Causes of icteric plasma in these apparently healthy donors are discussed. Differential diagnosis includes Gilbert’s disease, hemolytic anemia, drug-induced anemia and other hepatic causes of hyperbilirubinemia, of which Gilbert’s disease is most probable cause with a prevalence of 0.91% in our population. As there are no studies to document the safety of the recipients receiving such abnormal colored plasma as well as to document the hazards in its transfusion, the question arises whether to transfuse such units or not. This study highlights this dilemma. A reassessment of existing policies and regulations is merited.
Asymptomatic; donors; Gilbert’s; hyperbilirubinemia; unconjugated
Platelet concentrate (PC) remains one of the most important support measures in thrombocytopenic patients. An efficient cell separator is a prerequisite for an optimally functioning apheresis setup. Donor blood count may undergo a temporary reduction after the procedure.
The aim was to find the extent of reduction in donor blood count (hemoglobin, hematocrit, white blood cell, and platelet) after plateletpheresis and to evaluate the cell separator for collection efficiency, processing time, and leukoreduction.
Study Design and Methods:
Two hundred and thirty seven procedures performed on the Amicus (N = 121), Fenwal CS-3000 Plus (N = 50) and Cobe spectra (N = 66) in a one year period were evaluated. The procedures performed on the continuous flow centrifugation (CFC) cell separators and donor blood counts (pre and post donation) done were included in the study.
The percent reduction in hemoglobin (HB), hematocrit (HCT), white blood cell (WBC) and platelet count ((PLT ct) was 2.9, 3.1, 9, 30.7 (Mean, N = 237) respectively after the procedure. The post donation PLT ct reduced to < 100×109/L (range 80-100) in five donors (N = 5/237, Amicus). The pre donation PLT ct in them was 150-200×109/L. Collection efficiency (percent) of Amicus (79.3) was better as compared to the other two machines (CS: 62.5, Cobe: 57.5). PC collected on Cobe spectra had <1×106 WBC. The donor pre donation PLT levels had a positive correlation to the product PLT yield (r = 0.30, P = 0.000).
Monitoring donor blood counts helps to avoid pheresis induced adverse events. A cautious approach is necessary in donors whose pre donation PLT ct is 150-200×109/L. The main variable in PLT yield is donor PLT ct (pre donation). High collection efficiency is a direct measure of an optimally functioning cell separator.
Continuous flow cell separator; donor blood count; plateletpheresis; platelet yield; Blood donor; apheresis
Background and Aims:
Blood and components are more frequently used in surgery and non-surgical procedures. In medical procedures blood transfusion is important and needs adequate expertise and practice, thus adequate knowledge in healthcare workers of this procedure is essential.
Materials and Methods:
This descriptive study is designed to assess the knowledge of healthcare workers about proper methods of blood transfusion, and how to promote their knowledge for proper performance if their knowledge is inadequate. Data were collected with aimed questionnaire and analyzed by statistics software.
The study population mainly comprised 122 healthcare workers (HCWs). The main findings from this study showed that 26.2% of healthcare workers (HCWs) had low-level knowledge, 22.1% moderate and 51.6% acceptable knowledge. We did not find any significant correlation between knowledge of HCWs and years in profession, participation in training, number of blood transfusions per day, age, gender, etc. (P < 0.05).
Discussion and Conclusion:
Results strongly emphasized the need for a curriculum to promote knowledge of HCWs about blood transfusion because we found low and moderate level of knowledge in approximately half our samples and on the importance of blood transfusion procedure, suggesting that more attempts should be made to build up knowledge about blood transfusion.
Blood transfusion; healthcare worker; knowledge
The art of fluid administration and hemodynamic support is one of the most challenging aspects of treating critically ill patients. Transfusions of blood products continue to be an important technique for resuscitating patients in the intensive care settings. Concerns about the rate of inappropriate transfusion exist, particularly given the recognized risks of transfusions and the decreasing availability of donor blood. We investigated the current transfusion practice in the critically ill patients at our hospital.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 1817 consecutive critically ill patients admitted between January 2006 and December 2006 were included in this retrospective study. The blood request forms of the patients were analyzed, and their pretransfusion investigations, indications for transfusions, etc. were studied.
Nine hundred and eleven (50.1%) critically ill patients, comprising 71.6% males and 28.4% females, received blood/blood components. About 43.8% patients were administered packed red cells (PRC), 18.27% fresh frozen plasma (FFP) and 8.4% transfused platelets. Among those receiving PRC, 31.1% had a pretransfusion Hb below 7.5g%, 34.4% had Hb between 7.5 and 9g%, while 21.4% had Hb above 9g%. Among those receiving FFP, 14.5% had an international normalized ratio INR < 1.5, and 19% had a pretransfusion platelet count above 50,000/cumm. During the study, there were 7% of the patients who received red cells and FFP, 2% of the patients received red cells and platelets, 1% of the patients received platelets and FFP, and 5% of the patients had received all the three components, i.e., red cells, FFP and Platelets. The baseline investigations and/or clinical indications were not mentioned in 13.1% of patients receiving PRC, 57% receiving FFP and 49.7% receiving platelets.
About 21.4% of PRC, 14.5% of FFP, and 19% of platelets were inappropriately indicated. Clinicians in our centre were conservative in keeping with recent transfusion guidelines. A significant number of blood request forms were still incomplete with baseline investigations not mentioned in the request forms.
Fresh frozen plasma; medical intensive care unit; packed red cells
Platelet rich plasma-platelet concentrate (PRP-PC), buffy coat poor-platelet concentrate (BC-PC), and apheresis-PC were prepared and their quality parameters were assessed.
In this study, the following platelet products were prepared: from random donor platelets (i) platelet rich plasma - platelet concentrate (PRP-PC), and (ii) buffy coat poor-platelet concentrate (BC-PC) and (iii) single donor platelets (apheresis-PC) by different methods. Their quality was assessed using the following parameters: swirling, volume of the platelet concentrate, platelet count, WBC count and pH.
A total of 146 platelet concentrates (64 of PRP-PC, 62 of BC-PC and 20 of apheresis-PC) were enrolled in this study. The mean volume of PRP-PC, BC-PC and apheresis-PC was 62.30±22.68 ml, 68.81±22.95 ml and 214.05±9.91 ml and ranged from 22-135 ml, 32-133 ml and 200-251 ml respectively. The mean platelet count of PRP-PC, BC-PC and apheresis-PC was 7.6±2.97 × 1010/unit, 7.3±2.98 × 1010/unit and 4.13±1.32 × 1011/unit and ranged from 3.2 –16.2 × 1010/unit, 0.6-16.4 × 1010/unit and 1.22-8.9 × 1011/unit respectively. The mean WBC count in PRP-PC (n = 10), BC-PC (n = 10) and apheresis-PC (n = 6) units was 4.05±0.48 × 107/unit, 2.08±0.39 × 107/unit and 4.8±0.8 × 106/unit and ranged from 3.4 -4.77 × 107/unit, 1.6-2.7 × 107/unit and 3.2 – 5.2 × 106/unit respectively. A total of 26 units were analyzed for pH changes. Out of these units, 10 each were PRP-PC and BC-PC and 6 units were apheresis-PC. Their mean pH was 6.7±0.26 (mean±SD) and ranged from 6.5 – 7.0 and no difference was observed among all three types of platelet concentrate.
PRP-PC and BC-PC units were comparable in terms of swirling, platelet count per unit and pH. As expected, we found WBC contamination to be less in BC-PC than PRP-PC units. Variation in volume was more in BC-PC than PRP-PC units and this suggests that further standardization is required for preparation of BC-PC. As compared to the above two platelet concentrates, all the units of apheresis-PC fulfilled the desired quality control criteria of volume. Apheresis-PC units showed better swirling and platelet count than PRP-PCs and BC-PCs. All the platelet concentrates units had pH well above the recommended norm.
Corrected count increment; buffy coat poor-platelet concentrate; percentage recovery; platelet concentrate; platelet rich plasma-platelet concentrate; random donor platelet; single donor platelets
Thalassemia is a common hemoglobin disorder in Iran and one of the major public health problems. Although blood transfusions are lifesavers for thalassemia patients, they may be associated with some complications especially erythrocyte alloimmunization. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of red blood cell alloantibodies and to determine types of these antibodies among multiple-transfused thalassemic patients.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 313 thalassemia patients in the northeast of Iran, who received regular blood transfusion, were included in this study. Screening of antibodies was performed on fresh serum of all patients and then antibodies were identified in patients’ serum that had positive antibody screening test using a panel of recognized blood group antigens.
We identified 12 alloantibodies in 9 patients (2.87%) that all were against Rhesus (Rh) blood group antigens (D, C, E). Three patients developed 2 antibodies, and others had one antibody. The most common alloantibodies were Anti-D (88.88%) and followed by Anti-C and Anti-E. Higher frequency of alloimmunization was observed in female, Rh negative and splenectomized patients.
This study showed that evaluation of the packed cells for Rh (C, E) from the start of transfusion can be helpful in decreasing the rate of alloantibody synthesis.
Alloantibody; thalassemia; transfusion
The prevalence of microcytosis in donors and Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) and Beta-Thalassemia trait (BTT) in microcytic and non-microcytic donors has not been studied in India. The present study aims at finding the same.
Materials and Methods:
Initially 925 donor samples were evaluated on cell-counter. Of these, 50 were found to be microcytic. These were subjected to Ferritin and HbA2 determination. Subsequently, an additional 51, age-and-sex matched non-microcytic donor samples were selected to serve as controls. These were subjected to the same tests.
The prevalence of microcytosis was 5.4% (50/925). Among the microcytic donors, 52% were IDA, 36% BTT, 8% both, and 4% none. In case of non-microcytic donors 29.4% were IDA, 3.9% BTT, and 66.7% none.
The study revealed a high prevalence of IDA and BTT in blood donors and a higher probability of finding these in the microcytic samples. This prompted authors to suggest an algorithm for screening of blood donors for IDA and BTT. The algorithm recommends doing an hemogram on all donor samples, routinely. Ferritin could be done only in microcytic samples. At levels lower than15 ng/ml, it is diagnosed as IDA, and therefore, HPLC is performed only for non-IDA samples with Ferritin levels higher than 15 ng/ml. By employing this algorithm, a substantial number of IDA and BTT could be diagnosed while keeping the number of Ferritin tests small and the number of HPLC tests even smaller and thus making it cost efficient.
Algorithm; Beta-Thalassemia trait; Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid; Hemoglobin (Hb); High Performance Liquid Chromatography; Iron Deficiency Anemia; Plasma Ferritin
This is the era of component therapy. Therefore there is a need for rational use of platelet concentrate. Lot of knowledge has been added recently in the field of platelet specially about the platelet rich plasma and its application in clinical practice. The current review focuses on improvement in preparation of platelet rich plasma, the procedure to make the same more safe and its rational use. Furthermore newer aspects of platelet concentrate use in surgical practice and for regenerative medicine has also been discussed. It also covers some progress and hurdles in preparation of platelet substitutes.
Platelet Rich Plasma; Platelet Transfusion; Hemostatic Factors
In spite of the progress made in the prevention of transfusion transmitted infections over the last few years, transmission of HBV infection through transfusion of HBsAg negative blood has been documented.
To assess the frequency and clinical significance of anti-HBc in multitransfused hemodialysis patients.
Materials and Methods:
One hundred and forty-three hemodialysis patients who had been receiving blood regularly with an average of 39.4 ± 7.579 months on hemodialysis were enrolled in this study. HBV markers (HBsAg, anti-HBc, anti-HBs) were measured in these patients and in 100 healthy controls by the ELISA technique. The following data were obtained for all patients: socio demographic data, number of blood transfusions and some laboratory investigations.
In our patients, anti-HBc was positive in 9%, anti HBs in 7%, coexistant HbsAg/anti-HBc in 2.8% and anti HBc/anti HBs in 18.9%, meanwhile no patients were positive for HBsAg alone. In patients with only positive anti-HBc, the levels of anti-HBc were significantly related to abnormal results of liver function. In patients with positive anti-HBs/anti-HBc (n = 27), 18 patients had abnormal liver function, and 9 patients had normal liver function with no significant difference between them.
This study suggests that hepatitis B prevalence in our multitransfused hemodialysis patients is far in excess of that anticipated on the basis of HBsAg prevalence. Absence of HBsAg in the blood of hemodialyzed patients may not be sufficient to ensure lack of circulating HBV, and isolated positivity of anti-HBc may be a possible indicator of active hepatitis B infection.
Anti-HBc; hepatitis B infection; hemodialysis patients
Splenectomy has been the conventional surgical treatment for patients with Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP).
To define response to surgical therapy, pre operative factors influencing outcome and tolerability of surgery in adult patients undergoing splenectomy for ITP.
We analyzed prospectively maintained data of 33 patients who were diagnosed as ITP and underwent splenectomy over the last 10 years. The age, presenting complaints, bleeding manifestations, clinical details and other investigations were noted. Details of immediate pre-operative administration of blood transfusions, platelet transfusions and other forms of therapy were also recorded. Operative details with regards to blood loss and the presence of accessory spleens were obtained. Postoperative course in terms of clinical improvement, rates of complications and platelet counts was also noted.
Skin petechiae and menorhhagia were common presenting symptoms in patients (mean age 26.5±10.5 yrs) with ITP. Eighteen patients underwent splenectomy for failure of therapy and fifteen for relapse on medical treatment. Mean platelet bags transfused in immediate pre-operative period were 2.8±0.8. Mean intra-operative blood loss was 205±70.5 ml. Accessory spleens were removed in 1 case (3.03%). The immediate postoperative response was complete in 19 cases (57.58%) and partial in 13 cases (39.39%). The platelet counts increased significantly from 23142±12680/ µL (Microliter) (mean ± SD) preoperatively to 170000±66000/µL (Microliter) within 24-48 hours after splenectomy (P < 0.05). The mean platelet count was 165000+66000/µL (Microliter) at the end of one month when steroids were tapered off gradually. Four patients (12.12%) had complications (one each of wound hematoma, wound infection, splenic fossa collection and upper GI hemorrhage) in postoperative period but all responded to therapy. One relapsed patient was detected with accessory spleen and responded after re-surgery. Response to splenectomy was better in young patients and in those patients who had higher immediate post-splenectomy thrombocytosis.
Splenectomy is safe and effective therapy in ITP patients with no response to steroids and relapse after medical therapy. Response to splenectomy was more in young patients and in those patients who had higher immediate post-splenectomy thrombocytosis.
Idiopathic purpura; surgical therapy
Previous studies indicated that acute normovolemic hemodilution (ANH) was associated with a depression of myocardial function in coronary surgery patients with baseline heart rate faster than 90 bpm. It was suggested that this phenomenon could be explained by the occurrence of myocardial ischemia. In the present study, we hypothesized that the cardioprotective properties of a volatile anesthetic regimen might protect against the ANH related myocardial functional impairment.
Materials and Methods:
Forty elective coronary surgery patients with baseline heart rate faster than 90 bpm were randomly allocated to receive different anesthetic regimens. Group A (n = 20) received midazolam-based anesthesia. Group B (n = 20) received a sevoflurane-based anesthesia. Five-lead electrocardiogram, pulse oximetry, capnography, radial arterial pressure, and Swan Ganz continuous thermodilution cardiac output via right internal jugular vein were monitored. Measurements were obtained before and after ANH. Data were compared using paired t test. All data were expressed as mean ± SD. Data were considered significant if P < 0.05.
After ANH, systemic vascular resistance was slightly decreased in group A while there was a significant decrease in group B. In group A, cardiac output was slightly decreased from 5.07±1.17 l/min to 5.02±1.28 l/min after ANH, whereas in group B, cardiac output was significantly increased from 4.84±1.21 l/min to 6.02±1.28 l/min after ANH.
In coronary surgery patients, with baseline heart rate faster than 90 bpm, anesthesia with sevoflurane during ANH was associated with an improvement in myocardial function after ANH, which was not present in patients anesthetized with midazolam.
Acute normovolemic hemodilution; coronary artery disease; volatile anesthetic
A case of hyperhemolysis in a 2-year-old boy with β thalassemia major was noted. After several transfusions, he developed hyperhemolysis with a positive (C3d only) direct antiglobulin test (DAT) and no clinically significant RBC allo- or auto-antibodies. (There was a weak cold antibody, showing a narrow thermal range). Because there was no significant improvement with steroid and immunoglobulin infusions, cyclophosphamide therapy was tried with notable success.
β-thalassemia; direct antiglobulin test; hyperhemolysis; transfusion
ABO blood group iso-antibodies are naturally occurring antibodies found in serum and other body fluids.
Serum, saliva and milk samples from 5 mothers identified as “Bombay” phenotype were tested for ABH-iso-antibodies by routine serological techniques.
All the five mothers showed presence of iso-antibodies in the samples tested. Higher titer values in milk than their serum were observed on subjects whose samples were collected in immediate post-partum phase as compared to those whose samples were collected after a lapse of a few months.
High titer iso-agglutinins against ABH antigens were detected in milk samples besides their presence in saliva as well as serum.
ABH-iso-antibodies; bombay phenotype; secretions