BACKGROUNDFew African countries separate blood donations into components; however, demand for platelets (PLTs) is increasing as regional capacity to treat causes of thrombocytopenia, including chemotherapy, increases. Namibia introduced single-donor apheresis PLT collections in 2007 to increase PLT availability while reducing exposure to multiple donors via pooling. This study describes the impact this transition had on PLT availability and safety in Namibia.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODSAnnual national blood collections and PLT units issued data were extracted from a database maintained by the Blood Transfusion Service of Namibia (NAMBTS). Production costs and unit prices were analyzed.
RESULTSIn 2006, NAMBTS issued 771 single and pooled PLT doses from 3054 whole blood (WB) donations (drawn from 18,422 WB donations). In 2007, NAMBTS issued 486 single and pooled PLT doses from 1477 WB donations (drawn from 18,309 WB donations) and 131 single-donor PLT doses. By 2011, NAMBTS issued 837 single-donor PLT doses per year, 99.1% of all PLT units. Of 5761 WB donations from which PLTs were made in 2006 to 2011, a total of 20 (0.35%) were from donors with confirmed test results for human immunodeficiency virus or other transfusion-transmissible infections (TTIs). Of 2315 single-donor apheresis donations between 2007 and 2011, none of the 663 donors had a confirmed positive result for any pathogen. As apheresis replaced WB-derived PLTs, apheresis production costs dropped by a mean of 8.2% per year, while pooled PLT costs increased by an annual mean of 21.5%. Unit prices paid for apheresis- and WB-derived PLTs increased by 9 and 7.4% per year on average, respectively.
CONCLUSIONNamibia's PLT transition shows that collections from repeat apheresis donors can reduce TTI risk and production costs.
- SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA