BACKGROUND: Adverse transfusion reactions can cause morbidity and death to patients who receive a blood transfusion. Blood transfusion practice in Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda is analyzed to see if and when these practices play a role in the morbidity and mortality of patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: An observational study on three wards of Mulago Hospital. Physicians, paramedics, nurses, medical students and nurse students were observed using two questionnaires. For comparison, a limited observational study was performed in the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG) in Groningen, The Netherlands.
RESULTS: In Mulago Hospital guidelines for blood transfusion practice were not easily available. Medical staff members work on individual professional levels. Students perform poorly due to inconsistency in their supervision. Documentation of blood transfusion in patient files is scarce. There is no immediate bedside observation, so transfusion reactions and obstructions in the blood transfusion flow are not observed.
CONCLUSION: The poor blood transfusion practice is likely to play a role in the morbidity and mortality of patients who receive a blood transfusion. There is a need for a blood transfusion policy and current practical guidelines.