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Assessment of the quality of stored blood for transfusion at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, Southwestern Uganda

Authors Rukundo HAM, Taremwa IM, Muwanguzi E, Ndyomubantu M, Byarugaba F, Natukunda B

Received 17 February 2019

Accepted for publication 17 May 2019

Published 1 July 2019 Volume 2019:10 Pages 161—169


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Martin H Bluth

Hope Alice Mbabazi Rukundo,1 Ivan Mugisha Taremwa,2 Enoch Muwanguzi,3 Mark Ndyomubantu,4 Frederick Byarugaba,5 Bernard Natukunda3

1Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Mbarara, Uganda; 2Institute of Allied Health Sciences, Clarke International University, Kampala, Uganda; 3Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Medicine, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Mbarara, Uganda; 4Department of Science Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Science, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Mbarara, Uganda; 5Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), Mbarara, Uganda

Aim and objective: To assess the quality of blood stored for transfusion at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH) regarding bacterial contamination, malaria infection, and laboratory audit status.
Materials and methods: Whole blood and packed red blood cells at MRRH were critically inspected for visual anomalies, and a portion of this blood was aseptically collected and analyzed for Plasmodium species and bacterial contamination using culture methods. For culture positive samples, drug susceptibility testing (DST) was done using the Kirby–Bauer disc diffusion method. An audit using Stepwise Laboratory quality Improvement Process Towards Accreditation (SLIPTA) quality checklist was conducted. The obtained data were analyzed as frequencies and proportions at 95% confidence interval (CI), and significance levels of relatedness were set at p-values<0.05.
Results: Of the 202 samples analyzed, 6 (3%) had bacteria while 3 (1.5%) had Plasmodium falciparum trophozoites. The bacterial isolates were Staphylococcus aureus (N=4, 66.7%); Corynebacterium spp (N=1, 16.7%) and Micrococcus spp (N=1, 16.7%). Staphylococcus aureus showed sensitivity to chloramphenicol, oxacillin, amikacin, and gentamycin. Thirty (14.9%) of these units had visually detectable anomalies, and the laboratory audit score was 53.8%.
Conclusion: The quality of some blood stored for transfusion at MRRH was inadequate, and the laboratory quality standard based on SLIPTA was low. Based on this, it is crucial to always insist on aseptic measures at all stages (phlebotomy, processing, transporting, and blood storage) and consider more assessment of the donor risk to minimize transfusion-transmitted malaria. It is plausible to standardize the hospital blood transfusion laboratory and revive hemovigilance by the hospital transfusion committee.

Keywords: bacterial contamination, Plasmodium species, blood components, laboratory quality audit, SLIPTA

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