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Uses and misuse of blood transfusion in obstetrics in Lagos, Nigeria

, : Uses and misuse of blood transfusion in obstetrics in Lagos, Nigeria. West African Journal of Medicine 22(2): 124-127

The objectives of this study were to identify obstetric and medical conditions in transfused patients, appraise the justification for the transfusion and recommend measures for reducing transfusion in obstetrics in Nigeria. Available case records of obstetric patients transfused at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital between the period 1st November 1995 and 31 October 1998 were reviewed retrospectively. Data collected included booking status, mode of delivery, amount of blood-transfused, post transfusion packed cell volume (PCV), and obstetric and medical conditions found in the patients. There were 4,159 cases out of which 503 were transfused. The overall transfusion rate was 12.1%, in booked and unbooked patients, it was 6.6% and 45.8% respectively. Only 231 cases were available for full analysis, mean age was 28.9 +/- 5.2 years (range 16-43 years). Sixty-three (27.3%) had unit-transfusions. Mean post transfusion PCV was 28.4% +/- 4.3% (range 17%-43%). In 63 (27.3%), the post transfusion PCV was above 30%. Some of the obstetric and medical conditions in the transfused patients were caesarean section (68.8%), previous caesarean section (20.4%), antepartum haemorrhage (16.9%), pregnancy induced hypertension (15.6%), anaemia and malaria (14.0%), induction of labour (13.0%), ruptured uterus (8.8%), and sickle cell anaemia (5.2%). Multi-unit transfusions were found in ruptured uterus (5.8 units), sickle cell anaemia (4.9 units), vaginal and cervical lacerations (4.0 units), forceps delivery (3.9 units) and malaria and anaemia (2.9 units). The study shows a high transfusion rate; an appreciable number were unnecessary transfusions. A number of the obstetric and medical factors for blood transfusion were avoidable. A reduction in blood transfusion rate can be achieved by the provision of adequate, available and affordable maternal health services in Nigeria.


PMID: 14529219

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