Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
Home Print this page Email this page
Users Online:: 238

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-22

Pattern of blood transfusion request and utilization at a Nigerian University Teaching Hospital

1 Department of Hematology, ABUTH Zaria, Nigeria
2 UDUTH Sokoto, Nigeria

Date of Web Publication20-Mar-2014

Correspondence Address:
Abubakar U Musa
Department of Hematology, ABUTH Zaria
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1118-8561.129149

Rights and Permissions

Introduction: Provision of adequate safe blood is challenging in developing countries due to paucity of voluntary blood donors, poor facilities for storage and blood component preparation as well as inappropriate blood ordering and utilization. Appraisal of pattern of blood transfusion requests and utilization helps highlight shortcomings that could be addressed toward judicious use of blood. Aims: To determine the pattern of blood transfusion requests and utilization at a Nigerian Teaching Hospital. Materials and Methods: Blood request forms and cross-match worksheets at the blood bank of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH) Sokoto were analyzed over a 3-month period. Number of blood units requested, cross-matched, or transfused and the cross-match to transfusion ratio (CTR) for clinical units were computed. Results: Of the 1703 units of blood requested for 986 patients, 94.42% (1608) were cross-matched but only 34.51% (555) were transfused giving a CTR of 2.90 for the hospital. The CTR for the various clinical units were: O and G - 3.40, Surgery - 3.11, Trauma center - 2.74, Emergency - 2.61, Medicine - 2.02, and Pediatrics - 1.97. Conclusions: The overall CTR of the hospital is high indicating suboptimal transfusion practice. Introducing transfusion guidelines and type and screen with abbreviated cross-match method can help toward apt requisition and utilization of blood thereby reducing wastages.

Keywords: Blood transfusion, cross-match to transfusion ratio, request, utilization

How to cite this article:
Musa AU, Ndakotsu MA, Hassan AA, Kilishi A, Kwaifa IK. Pattern of blood transfusion request and utilization at a Nigerian University Teaching Hospital. Sahel Med J 2014;17:19-22

How to cite this URL:
Musa AU, Ndakotsu MA, Hassan AA, Kilishi A, Kwaifa IK. Pattern of blood transfusion request and utilization at a Nigerian University Teaching Hospital. Sahel Med J [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Jun 9];17:19-22. Available from: https://www.smjonline.org/text.asp?2014/17/1/19/129149

  Introduction Top

Blood transfusion plays vital roles in the medical and surgical practice. [1] In order to achieve these, blood transfusion has to be appropriate and judicious. Availability of adequate safe blood has been challenging in developing countries due to dearth of voluntary blood donors, poor facilities for storage and blood component preparation as well as inappropriate blood ordering and utilization. [2],[3],[4] Periodic appraisal of transfusion practice may highlight shortcomings that could be addressed toward provision of adequate safe blood or good practice that could be strengthened.

This study was conducted to evaluate the pattern of blood transfusion requests and utilization at a Nigerian Teaching Hospital with the aim of determining transfusion practice.

  Materials and Methods Top

This was a prospective study conducted at the blood bank of the Department of Hematology, UDUTH Sokoto from June 1 to August 31, 2013. Approval was obtained from the Ethical and Research Committee of UDUTH Sokoto.

The blood request forms and the cross-match worksheets of the blood bank were accessed and the following data for the clinical units (Emergency, Trauma, Pediatrics, Surgery, Obstetric and Gynecology, and Medicine) were extracted. The number of patients for whom requests were made, units requested, units cross-matched, units issued out, units transfused, units returned unutilized, and the reason (s) for non-utilization were generated. Using Microsoft Excel 2010 software, the generated data was analyzed into percentages, CTR (total units cross-matched/total units transfused), and non-usage probability, NUP (total units not transfused/total units requested).

All cross-matched units not collected after 72 hours were considered as not issued out as they were reclaimed into the blood bank and re-crossmatched for other patients. All units issued out and not returned to the blood bank within 24 hours were considered utilized (transfused) as all issued out but unutilized blood units are usually returned to the blood bank for proper storage or disposal.

  Results Top

A total of 1703 units were requested for 986 patients during the study period. The OandG unit had the highest while Medicine unit had the least with 738 (43.34%) and 107 (6.28%) requests, respectively [Table 1].
Table 1: Number of patients for whom requests were made, units requested or not transfused and the non-usage probability according to the clinical units

Click here to view

About 94.42% (1608) of the requested units were crossmatched while only 41.73% (671) and 34.51% (555) of the crossmatched units were issued out and transfused, respectively. This gave a CTR of 2.90 for the hospital [Table 1] and [Table 2]. The OandG unit had the highest CTR of 3.40 while the Medicine and Pediatrics units had a CTR of about 2 or less as depicted in [Table 2].
Table 2: Number of units crossmatched, issued out, or transfused and the crossmatch to transfusion ratio according to the clinical units

Click here to view

The NUP for the hospital stood at 67.41% as up to 1148 of the 1703 requested units were actually not transfused. The highest NUP was with the OandG unit which recorded 71.95% while the Medicine unit the least with 39.25%. The NUPs for the other clinical units are shown in [Table 1].

A total of 116 accounting for 17.29% of the issued out units (671) were returned to the blood bank unutilized as shown in [Table 2] and [Table 3]. The OandG unit had the highest number of unutilized units with 63 (54.31%) while Pediatrics unit had the least with 2 (1.72%). The major reasons for non-utilization were when issued out units were no longer required for transfusion or when surgical interventions were postponed and these accounted for 83 (71.55%) and 29 (25.00%) of unutilized blood, respectively [Table 3].
Table 3: Units returned unutilized with reasons for non-utilization according to the clinical units

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

The act of over-requisition of blood without subsequent utilization in clinical practice has been reported by earlier workers. [4],[5],[6] This scenario is typified by a CTR of >2 and NUP of >50%. [7],[8]

The overall high CTR recorded in this study is similar to the 2.96 reported by Bashawri in Saudi Arabia. [9] However, Ebose in Benin and Fasola in Ibadan reported lower CTR values of 2.2 and 0.9, respectively. [8],[10] The observed differences may be due to the varying levels of availability of blood and indications for blood transfusion considered by the requesting physicians. [8],[9],[10]

Comparable pattern of transfusion practice was observed between the OandG and Surgery units who both had CTR beyond 3, NUP beyond 70%, and together accounted for >80% of the non-utilized units. The study by Ebose recorded the highest CTR in the Surgery unit while the Bashawri study showed both OandG and Surgery units had high CTR. [8],[9] This may be attributable to premature transfusion requests made by junior doctors which were eventually called off after a review by senior doctors, and postponement of operative procedures arising from improper patient preparation or challenges with the operating theaters. The practice of always having units of blood ready, which may not be transfused eventually, before embarking on any surgical procedure may have also contributed. [9]

The Medicine unit had the highest consumption of requested blood with a CTR of 1.97 and NUP of 39.25%. This finding may reflect the observed transfusion requirement of patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis, hemoglobinopathies, malignancies, and chronic bleeding. Furthermore, low incidence of prophylactic use of blood in the aforementioned conditions may have contributed. In contrast, however, OandG unit had the highest consumption of blood in the Fasola and Ebose studies. [8],[10]

Though the Pediatric unit had a CTR of about 2, the NUP was unacceptably high meaning a lot of requests ought not to have been made as they were eventually not used. A similarly high NUP of 61.00% for the Pediatrics was reported by Ebose. [8] However, it is worthy of note that over 95% of the issued out units were utilized and this may be due to the life-saving role that immediate transfusion can offer for the pediatric group with high prevalence of anemia.

The transfusion practice observed at the Emergency and the Trauma units are similar with both units having almost the same high CTR and NUP. This pattern may be explained by the promptness with which blood units are requested for managing emergency cases. A similar pattern of transfusion practice was reported by Ebose at the Accident and Emergency unit. [8]

Suboptimal transfusion practice characterized by high CTR and NUP as observed in the current report can lead to wastage of blood and unavailability of blood for patients in need as crossmatched blood is usually held in reserve for variable period of time before de-reservation. [9],[10] This practice has also been associated with increase in workload on blood bank personnel as well as wastage of crossmatch reagents with cost implications to both the patient and blood bank. [8],[11]

In the face of poor voluntary blood donor base and dearth of facilities for storage and blood component preparation typical of a developing country like Nigeria, the need for judicious utilization of the few available blood units cannot be over-emphasized. [12] Formulating and adherence to transfusion guidelines have been shown to reduce unnecessary blood requisition. [13],[14]

Other measures with proven improvement in CTR and NUP are maximum surgical blood ordering schedule (MSBOS) and type, screen, save, and abbreviated crossmatch (TSSAC). [15],[16] The MSBOS specifies the number of blood units to be routinely crossmatched for elective surgical procedures based on retrospective analysis of actual blood usage for these procedures. [16] The TSSACs entail typing patient's blood for ABO and Rh blood group systems and screening for irregular antibodies. [16] In the absence of irregular antibodies, no crossmatch is carried out. However, a quick spin crossmatch is conducted when blood is eventually needed. [16] For patients with irregular antibodies, full crossmatch is performed at the outset with corresponding antigen-free blood. [16]

  Conclusion Top

The overall CTR and NUP at UDUTH Sokoto were high, implying non-satisfactory transfusion practice that could potentially lead to wastage of blood and crossmatch reagents as well as increased workload on the blood bank personnel. Formulation and adherence to transfusion guidelines as well as introduction of MSBOS and TSSAC could help improve the transfusion practice in UDUTH Sokoto.

  References Top

1.Dutta AB. Transfusion practice clinical aspects and applications. In: Blood Banking and Transfusion 1 st ed. New Delhi: CBS Publishers; 2006. p. 213-321.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Kagu MB, Ahmed SG, Askira BH. Utilization of Blood Transfusion Services in North Eastern Nigeria. Highland Med R J 2007;5:27-30.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Kuliya-Gwarzo A. survey of blood transfusion needs in a tertiary nigerian institute. Sahel Med J 2007;10:19-23.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Enosolease ME, Imarengiaye C, Awodu AO. Donor blood procurement and utilization at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City. Afr J Reprod Health 2004;8:59-63.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Basnet RB, Lamichhane D, Sharma VK. A study of blood requisition and transfusion practice in surgery at Bir hospital. PMJN 2009;9:14-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Olawunmi HO, Bolaji BO. Blood utilization in Elective Surgical Procedures in Ilorin. Trop Jr Health Sci 2006;13:15-7.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Pinkerton PH. Blood Bank Audit. J Clin Pathol 1995;48:283-6.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Ebose EM, Osalumese IC. Blood shortage situation: An audit of red blood cell order and pattern of utilization. Afr J Biotech 2009;8:5922-5.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Bashawri LA. Pattern of blood procurement, ordering and utilization in a university hospital in eastern Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J 2002;23:555-61.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Fasola FA, Kotila RA, Shokunbi WA. Audit of red cell units supply of a busy hospital blood bank in Nigeria. Niger J Clin Pract 2009;12:165-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Chawla T, Kakepoto GN, Khan MA. An Audit of Blood Cross-Match Ordering Practices at the Agha Khan University Hospital: First Step Towards A Maximum Surgical Blood Ordering Schedule (MSBOS). J Pak Med Assoc 2001;51:251-4.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Nigeria National Blood Transfusion Service. Nigerian National Blood Policy; Federal Ministry of Health Abuja 2006. p. 1-16.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Nel TJ. Clinical guidelines, audits and haemovigillance in managing blood transfusion needs. TATM 2008;10:61-9.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Murphy MF, Wallington TB, Kelsey P, Boulton F, Bruce M, Cohen H, et al. British Committee for Standards in Haematology (BCSH). Guidelines for the clinical use of red cell transfusions. Br J Haematol 2001;113:24-31.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Guidelines for Implementation of a Maximum Surgical Blood Order Schedule (MSBOS). British Committee for Standard in Haematology (BCSH). Clin Lab Haematol 1990;12:321-7.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Cheng G, Wong L. Type and screen of blood units at a teaching hospital. HKMJ 1995;1:27-30.  Back to cited text no. 16


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]

This article has been cited by
1 Evaluation of blood transfusion practice in obstetrics and gynaecology at a tertiary hospital in Port Harcourt, Nigeria
SimeonChijioke Amadi, PeterAbiye Awoyesuku, HannahE Omunakwe, LindaAnucha Dublin-Green, UduakSolomon Ocheche, Chinweowa Ohaka
Nigerian Journal of Medicine. 2023; 32(1): 28
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 A study to formulate maximum surgical blood order schedule at a Tertiary Care Referral Teaching Institute in Andhra Pradesh
Gudditi Sandhya, BandiSuresh Babu, KV Sreedhar Babu, Arun Rajendran, Abha Chandra, Hulikal Narendra, Y Mutheeswaraiah, VVenkatarami Reddy, VV Ramesh Chandra, NallabothulaAnil Kumar, C Keerthi, C Ravikanth, G Prashanth
Global Journal of Transfusion Medicine. 2022; 7(2): 178
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Assessment of Blood Transfusion Utilization and Patient Outcomes at Yekatit-12 Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Haymanot Tewabe, Asaye Mitiku, Habtamu Worku
Journal of Blood Medicine. 2022; Volume 13: 171
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Audit of clinical use of blood products in a tertiary care hospital
Megala Chandrasekar,Vignesh Balakrishnan,Arivukarasu Ponnaiyan,Thamilselvi Ramachandran
Journal of Hematology and Allied Sciences. 2021; 1: 22
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Evaluation of blood consumption pattern in Bojnurd Imam Ali Hospital in 2020, North Khorasan province
Javad Hashemi, Saeid Barzegar, Hoseinali Soltani, Ali Nabavi, Mohammadreza Safdari
Journal of Clinical and Basic Research. 2021; 5(2): 57
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
6 A retrospective analysis of blood requisition versus utilization practices at national blood bank, jigme dorji wangchuck national referral hospital, Thimphu, Bhutan
Tshering Yangdon,Mahrukh Getshen,Lobzang Tashi
Global Journal of Transfusion Medicine. 2020; 5(1): 54
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
7 Pattern of blood procurement and utilization in a university hospital in Southeast Nigeria
Chide Okocha,AnnAbiola Ogbenna,Nkiru Ezeama,John Aneke,Theodora Ezeh
Annals of Tropical Pathology. 2019; 10(1): 63
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
8 Blood utilisation in a developing society: what is the best index of efficiency?
K. S. Charles,L. De Freitas,R. Ramoutar,R. Goolam,S. Juman,D. Murray,R. Jhingai,A. Chantry
Transfusion Medicine. 2018;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
9 Demographic characteristics of blood and blood components transfusion recipients and pattern of blood utilization in a tertiary health institution in southern Nigeria
Henshaw Uchechi Okoroiwu,Ifeyinwa Maryann Okafor
BMC Hematology. 2018; 18(1)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
10 A retrospective study of transfusion practices in a Tertiary Care Institute
Babita Raghuwanshi, NK Pehlajani, MithileshK Sinha, Swagata Tripathy
Indian Journal of Anaesthesia. 2017; 61(1): 24
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
11 Obstetric Emergencies and Transfusion Needs in a Nigerian Hospital
Titilola S Akingbola
Hematology & Transfusion International Journal. 2016; 2(6)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
   Materials and Me...
   Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded597    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 11    

Recommend this journal