Indications for Blood Transfusion among Children in a Tertiary Hospital in North-Central Nigeria
Background: Anaemia is prevalent among children in our environment, often necessitating blood transfusions. Knowledge of the common reasons for blood transfusion and institution of preventive measures is likely to reduce transfusion rate in the region. We undertook a review of indications for blood transfusion in children at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos. Nigeria, over a 1 year period. Methodology: The case notes of all children aged 1 month to 18 years who received blood transfusion in the unit were reviewed. The patients' biodata, underlying medical condition and the type of blood transfusion were among data analysed. Results: There were 956 paediatric admissions into the Emergency Paediatrics Unit of the hospital, 8.9% (85) had blood transfusions. Sickle cell anaemia (57.7%) and cancer related problems (17.6%) were the most common indications for blood transfusions. Malaria was an uncommon reason for blood transfusion. Conclusion: Blood transfusion is frequently indicated in the paediatric population in our setting, largely due to sickle cell anaemia and cancer related problems. Intensifying efforts at premarital screening and counselling targeted at sickle cell anaemia may reduce the prevalence of this disease, while environmental control may reduce cancer incidence and consequently minimize the need for blood transfusions among our children.
Key Words Blood transfusion, sickle cell anaemia, childhood cancers.