Blood Discards in a Nigerian Transfusion Service Centre: The Implications in a Resource Poor Setting
Background: Blood discards have not attracted much attention in transfusion practice in Nigeria, where pre-donation screening is the practice in most health facilities with its attendant deferral of donors reactive to transfusion transmissible infections. The National Blood Transfusion Service of Nigeria lays emphasis on voluntary blood donation and post donation
enzyme linked immune-sorbent assay tests for infectious agents. Mass blood donations, post donation testing and storage are bound to generate blood discards. This study sought to determine the impact of centralized blood transfusion service on blood discards.
Methodology: Records of discarded units of blood between April 2008 and March 2010 were reviewed for the presence of infectious agents, evidence of red blood cell lysis, volume out of range and expiration as reasons for disposal. The type of blood donation was also determined from records.
Results: A total of 7286 units of blood from, voluntary (78.2%) and family replacement (21.8%) blood donors were collected during the period under review; (25.5%) were discarded. Twenty-three per cent (23%) of collected blood were discarded due to positive transfusion transmissible infections (TTIs), 1.4% expired and 1.0% of collected units were discarded due to volume out of range.
Conclusion: Blood discards may be a problem associated with post donation screening, largely due to transfusion transmissible infections, requiring safe handling and disposal. Vaccination of safe donors and children against hepatitis viruses may reduce blood discards from future donations.