Deadly dilemma

 
Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

-- DOCTORS in Africa are debating whether severely anaemic children should be given blood transfusions because of the risk of their getting AIDS-infected blood.

Researchers, however, have found ways to reduce the frequency of transfusions by 55 per cent without increasing mortality (The Lancet, Vol 340 No 8818). Severely anaemic children (with haemoglobin counts of less than 3.9 g/dl) administered transfusions within two days of admission into hospital had a lower mortality rate. Transfusions given to patients with haemoglobin counts equal to or more than 3.9 g/dl did not improve mortality and could increase the risk of death through AIDS. Children with haemoglobin counts of less than 4.7 g/dl and respiratory problems, who were given blood transfusions, also had lower fatality rates than those who were not.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.