Estimation of the prevalence and rate of acute transfusion reactions occurring in Windhoek, Namibia

Benjamin P.L. Meza, Britta Lohrke, Robert Wilkinson, John P. Pitman, Ray W. Shiraishi, Naomi Bock, David W. Lowrance, Matthew J. Kuehnert, Mary Mataranyika, Sridhar V. Basavaraju

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. Acute transfusion reactions are probably common in sub-Saharan Africa, but transfusion reaction surveillance systems have not been widely established. In 2008, the Blood Transfusion Service of Namibia implemented a national acute transfusion reaction surveillance system, but substantial under-reporting was suspected. We estimated the actual prevalence and rate of acute transfusion reactions occurring in Windhoek, Namibia. Methods. The percentage of transfusion events resulting in a reported acute transfusion reaction was calculated. Actual percentage and rates of acute transfusion reactions per 1,000 transfused units were estimated by reviewing patients' records from six hospitals, which transfuse >99% of all blood in Windhoek. Patients' records for 1,162 transfusion events occurring between 1st January - 31st December 2011 were randomly selected. Clinical and demographic information were abstracted and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Healthcare Safety Network criteria were applied to categorize acute transfusion reactions1. Results. From January 1 - December 31, 2011, there were 3,697 transfusion events (involving 10,338 blood units) in the selected hospitals. Eight (0.2%) acute transfusion reactions were reported to the surveillance system. Of the 1,162 transfusion events selected, medical records for 785 transfusion events were analysed, and 28 acute transfusion reactions were detected, of which only one had also been reported to the surveillance system. An estimated 3.4% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.3-4.4) of transfusion events in Windhoek resulted in an acute transfusion reaction, with an estimated rate of 11.5 (95% CI: 7.6-14.5) acute transfusion reactions per 1,000 transfused units. Conclusion. The estimated actual rate of acute transfusion reactions is higher than the rate reported to the national haemovigilance system. Improved surveillance and interventions to reduce transfusion-related morbidity and mortality are required in Namibia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-361
Number of pages10
JournalBlood Transfusion
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Blood safety
  • Blood transfusion
  • Blood transfusion/adverse effects
  • Namibia
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Hematology

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