A Survey of Canadian Neonatal Blood Transfusion Practices

Université de Montréal, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Hôpital Ste-Justine, Montréal, Quebec, Canada.
Transfusion Science 04/1997; 18(1):71-80. DOI: 10.1016/S0955-3886(96)00079-3
Source: PubMed


In 1990, the Pediatric Hemotherapy Committee of the American Association of Blood Banks developed and distributed a questionnaire addressing neonatal blood transfusion practices. The same questionnaire was subsequently sent to Canadian university-affiliated hospitals (n = 92). This report describes the results of the Canadian survey. Seventy-two percent (n = 66) of institutions contacted responded. Of these 42% (n = 28) had sufficient experience with neonatal transfusions and provided sufficient data for analysis. Although the majority of stated practices did follow published guidelines, several areas of variability and/or suboptimal practices were identified. With respect to component selection and preparation, suboptimal practices included excessive pretransfusion testing, unnecessary routine washing of RBC concentrates for small-volume transfusions, routine volume reduction of platelet concentrates and the use of suboptimal granulocyte preparations. With respect to transfusion practices, a disturbingly high percentage of respondents indicated that frozen plasma would be given in situations generally considered inappropriate. There was a great deal of variability in the provision of blood components at low risk for CMV, in the use of gamma irradiation and in the platelet count used for prophylactic platelet transfusions. The data collected in this survey provide information concerning practices that require improvement, identify areas where further research is desirable and provide a basis for comparison with current and future neonatal blood transfusion practices.

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