Nigerian Journal of Orthopaedics and Trauma

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Overview of Blood Transfusion in Orthopaedic Trauma in Ilorin, Nigeria.

S Agaja


Background: Blood transfusion in orthopaedic trauma is very important, its safety and risks are to be balanced.
Objective: To determine the blood transfusion rate of orthopaedic trauma requiring operations.
Method: All patients admitted to Ela Memorial Medical Centre, Ilorin from 1st January, 2001 to 31st May 2006 were reviewed. From the case notes and operation register, the age, sex, diagnosis, treatment given, whether patients were transfused or not, were analyzed and appropriate conclusions were drawn.
Results: 132 patients had orthopaedic injuries and were treated by either non-operative or operative methods. 83patients (63.0%) were males whilst 49 patients (37.0%) were females: ratio 1.7:1. 52 patients (39.4%) had blood transfusion and 80 patients (60.6%) did not have blood transfusion. Patients who sustained multiple fractures of the lower limbs and had to be treated with open reduction and internal fixation require blood transfusion. Patients with severe soft tissue injuries, traumatic amputation and gangrene of the lower limbs requiring amputation need blood transfusion.
Patients with fractures in the upper limbs, fractures at the ankle, fracture tibia and fibula that had open reduction and internal fixation rarely require blood transfusion.
Conclusion: Despite the known complications and risks of blood transfusion, there are operative procedures following orthopaedic trauma that require blood transfusion. Such operative procedures should be identified and blood should be made available for them. For cases with blood transfusion rate less than 25%, blood can be grouped and saved in case unusual complications occur. Making blood available for operations of
multiple fractures and fractures of major bones of the lower limbs with blood transfusion rate greater than 50% will go a long way in saving lives.

Keywords: Overview, Orthopaedic Trauma, Operations, Blood Transfusion.
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