Nigerian Journal of Surgical Research

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Pattern of requests for interspousal donation and transfusion in University of Maiduguri teaching hospital

SG Ahmed, O Kyari, AU Ibrahim


Background: The cases of 66 female patients who needed transfusion and requested for interspousal directed blood donations from their husbands at the UMTH Blood Bank from 1997 to 2001 were reviewed. The patients required blood for elective procedures, and wanted to be transfused with the blood of their husbands (interspousal transfusion) in order to avoid the risk of HIV infection, believing in the safety of their husband's blood but unaware of the remote immunological and clinical consequences of such transfusions, including haemolytic disease of the newborn in subsequent pregnancies.

Method: The patients were assessed with respect to age, educational status and past history of transfusion with husbands' blood. The patients were appropriately counseled regarding the risks associated with such transfusions.

Result: Out of the 66 patients studied, 51 (77%) were within the ages of 30-39 years while the remaining 15 (23%) patients were aged 20-29 years. Up to 58 (88%) of the patients had post secondary school education while the remaining 8 (12%) patients had secondary school education only. After counselling, 62 (94%) patients relinquished their earlier request for interspousal transfusions and opted for screened non-directed homologous donor blood while the remaining 4 (6%) patients opted for autologous donation. However, 3 (5%) patients had positive history of previous interspousal transfusion.

Conclusion: Counseling efforts must be intensified against this apparently safe but undesirable and dangerous form of transfusion.

(Nig J Surg Res 2003; 5: 23 – 26)

Key words: Blood donation, directed, interspousal
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