​Medical experts have said use of blood transfusion in treating patients is not evidence-based medical practice.

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Medical experts have said use of blood transfusion in

treating patients is not evidence-based medical practice.

The experts also noted that transfusion of blood into

patients was unsafe and expensive.

At a two-day scientific conference organised by the

Bloodless Medicine and Surgery Society, University of

Calabar Teaching Hospital, Cross River State, the

Education and Curriculum Director of the BMSS, Prof. Etim

Ekanem, told SUNDAY PUNCH that a curriculum would be

developed to keep Nigerian medical personnel abreast of

modern medicine.

“Apart from the dangers of blood transfusion and blood

products management, blood is becoming scarce due to

fewer donors and to process few units of blood is

expensive.

“A unit of blood can cost about N15, 000 excluding the

cost of managing a patient,” Ekanem said.

According to the Head, Bloodless Surgery Unit, UCTH, Dr.

Nathaniel Usoro, medical scientists have not proven the

efficacy of blood transfusion.

“Modern practice of medicine is evidence-based, and use

of any therapy requires proof of efficacy.  After decades

of blood transfusion, medical scientists are unable to

prove its efficacy.

“Rather, evidence of harm continues to accumulate, not

just hazards, but adverse outcome in transfused patients

compared to non-transfused patients,” he said.

Usoro also drew attention to the risks involved in blood

transfusion.

According to him, when screening blood for donation,

laboratories usually test for only HIV, hepatitis B, C and

syphilis.

“Even in good laboratories, donor blood is routinely tested

for only four pathogens: HIV, hepatitis B, C and syphilis.

Many laboratories do not test at all,” he said.

During blood transfusion, he said the blood recipient

could be exposed to “transmission of infection, delayed

hemolytic, allergic and febrile reactions.”

Other risks, he said, included circulatory overload, iron

overload, hypothermia and clerical error.

“We have made several presentations on bloodless care

to hospitals in various parts of the country. We have also

made several presentations to professional bodies.

However, many doctors are unaware of the newer

information regarding transfusion, while some are stuck

to medical tradition and resist change regarding

transfusion practices,” Usoro said.

Credit :PUNCH.

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