Category Archive News

1.7m Pints Of Blood Yearly Deficit Hits Nigerian Hospitals


LEADERSHIP Sunday gathered that this deficit is either filled by paid donors – which are not saved, or the blood is not there at all; that means people can die for reason that could be prevented.

Our correspondents also gathered  that out of the 66,000 units received per year,  only 10 per cent of the available units of blood is obtained through voluntary donation. Donation from family members  accounts for 30 percent while commercial donation accounts for  60 percent.

This development,  according to experts,  is not only disturbing but calls for urgent actions to reverse the trend, otherwise, patients will continue to die for lack of blood. Describing this statistic as disturbing, the national coordinator, National Blood Transfusion Service, Dr. Oluwatosin Smith said: “We are talking about the need for blood transfusion. Blood is needed for emergency in cases of big surgeries when patients bleed in case of accident and when women deliver and bleed. One of the causes of death for women who deliver at the maternity ward is bleeding”.

She explained that  voluntary  blood donation is a healthy habit that most Nigerians can engage in as a means of relieving the shortage of blood supply in the country and also improving their heart health by reducing excess iron in the body that predisposes individuals to cardiovascular diseases. Another expert, medical director, Jalingo clinic, Abuja, Dr. Mustapha Yusuf who disclosed that blood donation improves heart health, said, “We want to talk to Nigerians to save lives by donating blood. Blood donation is safe and nothing can happen to a blood donor; it is a good health practice to donate blood.

According to him,  anything more than 12.5 grammes of blood will only overstress the heart. Donation itself acts as a form of exercise, because if one pint of blood is collected, one will be losing about 650 calories. “With regular donation, you are at a great advantage not to develop diseases associated with heart problems because you have made your heart works at a pace that is proportional to your body mass. Whether a person donates blood or not, every 120 days, the red blood cells are naturally replaced, so it is advisable to give blood to save lives.

“People with chronic disorders, cancer of the blood, accident victims, pregnant women, and fire outbreak victims can benefit from the pint of blood you are donating.” they said . It would be recalled that the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) and Traumacare had in  July this year raised the alarm over the deficit of blood in the country, warning  that Nigeria’s blood bank was drying up.

NBTS corroborated the Red Cross and World Health Organisation’s (WHO) claims with its confirmation that it had not got more than 66,000 units per year. Meanwhile, WHO has warned that adequate supplies of safe blood can only be assured through regular, voluntary, unpaid donations.

The organisation expressed worry  that the African region was not meeting its blood needs, as patients requiring transfusion were dying due to blood shortages. Its regional director in Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti said although most countries have made significant progress to improve the availability and safety of blood, the demand for blood transfusion is increasing.

Moeti therefore  urged Nigeria and other African countries to support voluntary blood donations as a solidarity act for all, and to ensure that national blood services have sustainable funding for blood safety programmes. Meanwhile,  the minister of health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said that  the Executive Bill for the establishment of National Blood Service Commission has been approved by the Federal Executive Council.

He said the bill, when enacted into law, will serve to consolidate on the gains made in the last 13 years and take the National Blood Service from its current status to the next level, in line with international best practices. Speaking on the benefits of voluntarily blood donation, Adewole said   “studies have shown that people who voluntarily donate blood have the likelihood of living longer and the majority of the people who are regular blood donors rarely suffer from anaemia of the aged.”

He also said that blood donors  have the opportunity to undertake free health screening and a mini blood test before every donation at the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) centre.

The minister revealed that repeated blood donations enhance the production of new blood cells, improve the overall cardiovascular health and could lower the risk of severe cardiovascular events such as stroke by 33 per cent. He therefore encouraged all healthy Nigerians to take advantage and enjoy the invaluable benefits.

As part of measures aimed at bridging the gap, the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) in collaboration with Trauma Care International Foundation recently organised a national blood donor registration across the country. The exercise was aimed at bridging the gap between the demand and supply of blood in the country.

Coordinator, Trauma Care Foundation, Abuja, who is also the Managing Director, Alliance Hospital Abuja, Dr. Chris Otabor said the aim was to meet up with the 1.8 million units of blood required annually in Nigeria to meet the blood need of patients in hospitals.

Do horses have blood types?


Horses have seven main blood type systems (A, C, D, K, P, Q and U) which are of clinical interest. These blood types can occur singly or in combination within a horse – for example, a horse may have blood type A or ACQ. Interestingly, blood type prevalence varies between breeds of horses. Because Thoroughbreds have had a closed stud book for over 200 years and have been bred to select for one overriding genetic trait, they have very little variation among their blood types. The vast majority of Thoroughbreds (98 percent) have the A blood type while 84 percent have the Q blood type. On the other hand, 0 percent of Standardbreds have the Q blood type. Even among Standardbreds, there is variation; 97 percent of Standardbred trotters have the A blood type while only 78 percent of Standardbred pacers do. Breeds with less stringent stud books or that have been bred for multiple traits tend to have more heterogenicity among their blood types; 53 percent of Shetland ponies have the A blood type and 52 percent have the Q blood type.

While blood types in adult horses may seem inconsequential since blood transfusions are rare, they are very important in broodmares and foals due to a disease called neonatal isoerythrolysis. In this disease, the foal has a different blood type from his dam and ingests anti-red blood cell antibodies with the colostrum (first milk produced by the dam). In order for the dam to produce anti-red blood cell antibodies, she must have been exposed to a foreign blood type previously – usually through a previous pregnancy, although it could also be from a previous blood transfusion. These anti-red blood cell antibodies then attack the foal’s red blood cells and can lead to hemolytic crisis and death. Because of the relatively small size of foals (and their lack of blood volume), veterinarians may use blood transfusions more commonly in these cases. Clinically, the A and Q blood types have been shown to be the most likely to cause a problem because of their high antigenicity. Because the A blood type is so common in Thoroughbreds, broodmares without the A blood type are at an especially high risk of producing a foal with neonatal isoerythrolysis.

Fortunately, there are several methods of screening mares and foals for neonatal isoerythrolysis that your veterinarian may choose to employ. The easiest is to obtain a blood sample from the dam about 14 days prior to her foaling date and testing the blood for anti-red blood cell antibodies. If the test is negative for anti-red blood cell antibodies, the foal can be allowed to nurse normally. If the sample is positive, one option is to test the stallion’s blood type; if he and the mare have the same blood type, the resulting foal will as well. Comparing blood types of the mare and stallion (without running an antibody screen) can also be utilized as a preventative method. Finally, after foaling (but before the foal is allowed to ingest colostrum), a test can be performed to determine if there are antibodies in the colostrum that will bind to the foal’s red blood cells.

Sport Performance Sensitive to Blood Transfusion


This study tested the hypothesis that autologous blood transfusion (ABT) of ~50% of the red blood cells (RBCs) from a standard 450 ml phlebotomy would increase mean power in a cycling time trial. Additionally, the study investigated whether further ABT of RBCs obtained from another 450 ml phlebotomy would increase repeated cycling sprint ability.


In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design (3-month wash-out), nine highly trained male subjects donated two 450 ml blood bags each (BT-trial) or were sham phlebotomized (PLA-trial). Four weeks later, a 650 kcal time trial (n=7) was performed three days before and 2 h after receiving either ~50% (135 ml) of the RBCs or a sham transfusion. On the following day, transfusion of RBCs (235 ml) from the second donation or sham transfusion was completed. A 4×30 s all-out cycling sprint interspersed by 4 min of recovery was performed six days before and three days after the second ABT (n=9).


The mean power was increased in time trials from before to after transfusion (P<0.05) in BT (213±35 vs. 223±38 W; mean±SD) but not in PLA (223±42 vs. 224±46 W). In contrast, the mean power output across the four 30 s sprint bouts remained similar in BT (639±35 vs. 644±26 W) and PLA (638±43 vs. 639±25 W).


ABT of only ~135 ml of RBCs is sufficient to increase mean power in a 650 kcal cycling time trial by ~5% in highly trained men. In contrast, a combined high-volume transfusion of ~135 and ~235 ml of RBCs does not alter 4×30 s all-out cycling performance interspersed with 4 min of recover

Doctors questioned in HIV+ blood transfusion incident


VIRUDHUNAGAR: A team led by Additional Director of Medical and Rural Health Services Dr S Madhavi initiated an inquiry at the government Sivakasi hospital blood bank here regarding the incident of a woman having been transfused with HIV-positive blood.

Following the incident, which came to light on Tuesday, the State government had constituted a team to probe the case. As part of the inquiry, the team on Friday interrogated the hospital’s medical officer, Murganandham, and blood bank doctor, Sylesh Kumar.

It interrogated lab technician Ganesh Babu, who had been terminated from service. It had sent a summon to lab technician Valarmathi and ICTC counsellor Ramesh, who had also been terminated from service. However, the duo failed to appear for inquiry. Government Sattur hospital Medical Officer Iyyanar, several doctors and nurses were also questioned. The team checked medical reports of the woman and submit its report within one week, sources said.

Five Member Team

The team comprise of Dr S Madhavi, Dr S Raghunandhanan, Professor at the Institute of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Madras Medical College, Dr J Euphrasia Latha, Director (I/C), Professor of Microbiology at Madras Medical College, Dr S A Manimala, Associate Professor of blood transfusion, Tirunelveli Medical College, Dr Swathandran Hamsavardhini, Associate Professor of transfusion medicine, Dr MGR Medical University.