Nigerian Medical Practitioner

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Determinants of the Use of Autologous Blood in Elective General Surgery

AO Tade, EO Ogunyemi, BA Salami, J Sunmola, AA Musa


Objective: The study reports the 7 year experience of the authors with autologous blood transfusion in elective general surgery using the predeposit method.

Material and Method: Patients aged 18 years and older, presenting for elective surgery and for whom blood donation was required were encouraged to predonate one or two units of blood at internals of five days. Inclusion criterion was packed cell volume (pcv) >33%. Exclusion criteria were (i) age > 65 years (ii) presence of co-morbid factors. The age, sex, pcv on admission and on discharge, nature of surgery, number of blood units transfused, whether autologous or homologous, were recorded and analyzed.

Result: 72% of elective surgical patients were qualified to predonate their blood. 12% participated in 1992 with a decline to 3% in 1997. 2% of the group that predonated received homologous blood compared with 24% in the group that did not (p < 0.001). Age and type of surgery influenced perioperative blood transfusion.

Conclusion: Autologous blood transfusion is seldom used in our hospital despite the qualification of the majority of patients presenting for elective surgery, and its established safety. Old age, co-morbid factors, lack of awareness and dwindling interest contribute to low participation.
Key words: Autologous blood transfusion, Predeposit donation, Homologous blood, Elective surgery.
Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol.47(1-2) 2005: 3-5
AJOL African Journals Online