Research

A cross-sectional study of peripartum blood transfusion in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

K van den Berg, E M Bloch, A S Aku, M Mabenge, D V Creel, G J Hofmeyr, E L Murphy

Abstract


Background. Obstetric haemorrhage (OH) remains a major contributor to maternal morbidity and mortality. Blood transfusion is critical in OH management; yet, data on peripartum transfusion are lacking. A pilot study reported high rates of peripartum transfusion in a sample of South African (SA) hospitals, which was independently associated with HIV status.

Objectives. To assess the incidence of peripartum transfusion in a sample of Eastern Cape, SA hospitals to evaluate generalisability of preceding study findings.

Methods. Hospital chart reviews were conducted of all deliveries at three large regional hospitals from February to June 2013. Additional clinical data were collected for patients who sustained OH and/or were transfused.

Results. A total of 7 234 women were enrolled in the study; 1 988 (27.5%) were HIV-positive. Of the 767 HIV-positive women with a CD4 count <350 cells/μL, 86.0% were on full antiretroviral therapy and 9.9% received drugs for prevention of mother-to-child transmission. The overall transfusion rate was 3.2%, with significant variability by hospital: Frere Hospital (1.5%), Dora Nginza Hospital (3.8%) and Cecilia Makiwane Hospital (4.6%). The number of red blood cell units per transfused patient and per delivery varied significantly by hospital. Bivariate analysis showed significant association between transfusion and HIV status. In a multivariate analysis, controlling for OH, age, mode of delivery, gestational age, parity and birthweight, this association (odds ratio 1.45; 95% confidence interval 0.78 - 2.71) was no longer significant.

Conclusion. These findings confirm high rates of peripartum transfusion in SA. While this can be possibly ascribed to variability in practice and patient profile, variation in care and improvement in HIV treatment should be considered.


Authors' affiliations

K van den Berg, Medical Division, South African National Blood Service, Johannesburg, South Africa

E M Bloch, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md, USA; and Blood Systems Research Institute, San Francisco, Calif, USA

A S Aku, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, Mdantsane, South Africa; and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Frere Hospital, East London, South Africa

M Mabenge, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dora Nginza Hospital, Port Elizabeth, South Africa; and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, East London, South Africa

D V Creel, RTI International, Rockville, Md, USA

G J Hofmeyr, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, East London, South Africa; Effective Care Research Unit, East London, South Africa; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Arica; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Fort Hare University, Alice, South Africa; and Eastern Cape Department of Health, East London, South Africa

E L Murphy, Blood Systems Research Institute, San Francisco, Calif, USA; and Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Epidemiology/Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, Calif, USA

Full Text

PDF (194KB)

Keywords

Peripartum blood transfusion; Eastern Cape; South Africa

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(11):1103-1109. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i11.10870

Article History

Date submitted: 2016-11-02
Date published: 2016-11-02

Article Views

Abstract views: 1335
Full text views: 1071

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here