oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - The use of blood transfusions in the obstetric unit of an academic hospital in South Africa : brief reports

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1015-8782
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1084



Transfusions with blood products form an essential part of obstetric practice. A retrospective record review of all mothers (26) who received blood transfusions over a period of one month in May 2010 was performed at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital. Descriptive analysis was performed. Blood transfusion was commonly observed in women with late antenatal booking, human immunodeficiency virus positivity, multiparity, anaemia at first visit, and normal vaginal delivery. Iron supplementation usage was very poor in this group of women. The most common indication for transfusion was postpartum haemorrhage. These associated factors should be used to identify pregnant women at risk, so that timely and adequate treatment of anaemia may decrease the need for transfusion. Adequate care should also be given in the management of the third stage of labour, to prevent avoidable morbidities (postpartum haemorrhage, retained products of conception, and vaginal lacerations), leading to excessive blood loss and the need for transfusions.

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