Barriers to Effective Transfusion Practices in Limited-Resource Settings: From Infrastructure to Cultural Beliefs.
World journal of surgery
Editorial comment: anesthetic management of a malnourished, 7-year-old child in Malawi undergoing a pneumonectomy.
A & A case reports
2014; 3 (6): 72-?
BACKGROUND: Surgery and anesthesia are indivisible parts of health care, but safe and timely care requires more than operating rooms and skilled providers. One vital component of a functional surgical system is reliable blood transfusion. While almost half of all blood is donated in high-income countries (HICs), over eighty percent of the global population lives outside of these countries. High-income countries have on average 30 donations per 1000 people, and the average age of transfusion recipient is over 65. Most low-income countries (LICs) have fewer than five donations per 1000 people, where maternal hemorrhage and childhood anemia are the most common indications for transfusion. In LICs, greater than 50% of blood is administered to children under 5years of age. This study aims to snapshot, by survey, available resources for transfusion and then discusses the infrastructure and cultural barriers to optimal transfusion practice.METHODS: In January 2019, a 10-question survey was sent electronically to physician anesthesiologists working in low- and middle-income countries to examine resources and practice patterns for blood transfusion. Subsequent discussions illustrate obstacles contributing to low availability of blood products and illuminate infrastructure and cultural barriers preventing optimal transfusion practices.SURVEY RESULTS: Acquiring whole blood takes hours. Clinicians wait days to receive packed red blood cells or platelets. Fresh frozen plasma is available but untimely. For many, protocols for massive transfusion are rare, and for transfusion, ratios are nonexistent. Complete blood counts take hours, and coagulation profiles are severely delayed.DISCUSSION OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND CULTURAL BARRIERS: With few voluntary, unpaid, donors and inconsistent supply of testing kits, donated blood is unsafe.Donors are seasonal for farming communities, endemic malaria areas, and student donors recruited through schools.Cultural beliefs fuel distrust.Transfusion specialists, concentrated in urban areas, see rural patients presenting late. Inadequate triaging and supervision jeopardize patients to shock. Inadequate blood storage leads to waste. Modeling systems from HICs fail to overcome hurdles faced by clinicians working with distinctive belief systems and unique patient populations.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00268-020-05461-x
View details for PubMedID 32157404