Transfusion Services in Nigeria: Blood Banking Techniques and Availability of Facilities for Blood Component Therapy
Keywords:component therapy, refrigerated centrifuge, blood typing methods, apheresis
Background: To determine blood banking techniques and availability of facilities for blood product preparations in Nigeria.
Aim and Objectives: To determine the safety of blood and blood products in blood banks in Nigeria; assess the availability of equipment and reagents; and the utilisation of resources to provide for the transfusion needs of our patients.
Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of some healthcare professional attendees at the 2018 Annual Scientific Conference of the Nigerian Society for Haematology and Blood Transfusion (NSHBT) in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. A selfadministered, structured questionnaire to determine bloodtransfusion practice in Nigeria, was used to obtain demographic data of the participants, data on haemovigilance and the availability of resources for the preparation of safe blood and blood components in blood banks across Nigeria. Data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics and p≤ 0.05 defined the level of significance.
Results: A total of 93 (75.6%) participants responded to the questionnaire out of 119 professionals (consultant haematologists, haematology resident doctors and medical laboratory scientists). None of the participants used Gel-cards or microtitre plates for blood typing in their centres. Less than one fifth (19.4%) and 23.4% reported having either an apheresis machine or a refrigerated centrifuge respectively in their centres, while 25.8% had neither equipment. Majority (52.7%) reported non-functionality of available equipment. The commonest reason given for the nonfunctionality or non-usage of these machines were mechanical breakdown (46/49, 93.9%), lack of reagents (19/49, 38.8%), absence of uninterruptible power supply (17/49, 34.7%), and lack of trained personnel to operate the machines (11/49, 22.4%). All the participants reported nonavailability of cryoprecipitate, while 16.1%, 12.95%, and 12.2% reported availability of fresh frozen plasma, red cell concentrates, and platelet concentrates respectively. Majority (79%) of the participants that prepared platelet concentrates did so on demand, but did not store them.
Conclusion: Standard blood banking techniques, component therapy and facilities for component preparations are not readily available in most blood banks in Nigeria. Provision of modern blood banking equipment/materials, staff training, and uninterruptible power supply may ameliorate some of the observed drawbacks in blood transfusion services in Nigeria.
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