Blood transfusion trends in obstetrics at the Federal Teaching Hospital in Abakaliki, South-East Nigeria
Osaheni L Lawani,1 Chukwuemeka A Iyoke,2 Azubuike K Onyebuchi1
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ebonyi State, Nigeria; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu State, Nigeria
Background: Obstetric hemorrhage has been repeatedly implicated as a leading cause of maternal mortality in Nigeria, yet there are very few studies that evaluate the practice of blood transfusion in obstetrics as a life saving measure.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the practice of obstetric blood transfusion, the mean decision-transfusion interval, and the outcome in parturients who had blood transfusions.
Methods: This was a prospective descriptive study conducted at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, South-East Nigeria, between 1st January, 2012 and 31st December, 2012. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS version 15.0 for Windows.
Results: Out of 151 parturients who received blood transfusion, 141/151 (97.4%) were knowledgeable about blood transfusion, while only 10/151 (2.6%) had no knowledge of it. The hospital was the source of information for 120/151 (80.8%) of the participants. Blood transfusion rate was 7.04% of all parturients. The mean decision-transfusion interval was 12.0 ± 4.3 hours. All participants were transfused with either whole blood or sedimented cells. The mean number of blood units transfused was 1.77 ± 0.93 units. The indications for transfusion were: anemia, 109/151 (72.2%); shock, 13/151 (8.6%); postpartum hemorrhage, 23/151 (15.2%); antepartum hemorrhage, 6 (4%). Six (4%) women died; mortality was due to renal failure in 3/6 (50%) and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy in 3/6 (50%). These deaths were due to delays and difficulty in securing blood for transfusion, while those who got transfused on time were salvaged with minimal morbidity, 21/151 (14%), or with no morbidity, 130/151 (86%).
Conclusion: Excessive blood loss and anemia still complicate most pregnancies in our practice and the mean decision-transfusion interval is unacceptably long with debilitating maternal morbidity and mortality that can be improved with safe and effective blood transfusion with minimal or no risk.
Keywords: blood, hemorrhage, obstetrics, transfusion, trend
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