Anaemia and blood transfusion in African children presenting to hospital with severe febrile illness.

Sarah Kiguli, Kathryn Maitland, Elizabeth C. George, Peter Olupot-Olupot, Robert Opoka, Charles Engoru, Samuel O. Akech, Richard Nyeko, George Mtove, Hugh Reyburn

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Severe anaemia in children is a leading cause of hospital admission and a major cause of mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, yet there are limited published data on blood transfusion in this vulnerable group.


We present data from a large controlled trial of fluid resuscitation (Fluid Expansion As Supportive Therapy (FEAST) trial) on the prevalence, clinical features, and transfusion management of anaemia in children presenting to hospitals in three East African countries with serious febrile illness (predominantly malaria and/or sepsis) and impaired peripheral perfusion.


Of 3,170 children in the FEAST trial, 3,082 (97%) had baseline haemoglobin (Hb) measurement, 2,346/3,082 (76%) were anaemic (Hb Conclusions

Severe anaemia complicates one third of childhood admissions with serious febrile illness to hospitals in East Africa, and is associated with increased mortality. A high proportion of deaths occurred within 2.5 hours of admission, emphasizing the need for rapid recognition and prompt blood transfusion. Adherence to current WHO transfusion guidelines was poor. The high rates of re-transfusion suggest that 20 mL/kg whole blood or 10 mL/kg packed cells may undertreat a significant proportion of anaemic children. Future evaluation of the impact of a larger volume of transfused blood and optimum transfusion management of children with Hb of

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalPaediatrics and Child Health, East Africa
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2015

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