Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Pattern and determinants of blood transfusion in a Nigerian neonatal unit

TA Ogunlesi, OB Ogunfowora


Objective: To determine the pattern and determinants of blood transfusion in a Nigerian neonatal unit.
Materials and Methods: Newborn babies who required blood transfusions between January and December, 2008, were studied. The sex, age, and weight at the first transfusion, clinical conditions, indications for transfusion, and the outcome were analyzed with bivariate and multivariate methods.
Results: A total of 402 neonates were hospitalized and 112 (27.9%) had blood transfusion; 61.9% had exchange transfusion, 66.1% had red cell transfusion, and 8% had plasma transfusion. There were 251 transfusions with a rate of 4.8 transfusions per week. Blood transfusions were done for severe jaundice (55.4%), severe anemia (40.2%), and bleeding disorders (4.4%). Weight < 2.5 kg, outside delivery, and jaundice were independent determinants of neonatal transfusion.
Conclusion: The blood transfusion rate in this facility was remarkably high. Improved standard of newborn care and infrastructural support are required to reduce the transfusion rate.
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