Back to Journals » International Journal of Women's Health » Volume 5

Blood transfusion trends in obstetrics at the Federal Teaching Hospital in Abakaliki, South-East Nigeria

Authors Lawani OL, Iyoke CA , Onyebuchi AK

Received 13 March 2013

Accepted for publication 27 April 2013

Published 12 July 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 407—412


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

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

Creative Commons License © 2013 The Author(s). This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.