Red blood cell transfusion in critically-ill children and its association with outcome

Hafsa Sohail, Shah Ali Ahmed, Parveen Usman, Farah Khalid, Anwar ul Haque, Qalab Abbas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the indications and threshold of haemoglobin levels for packed red blood cell transfusion and its association with outcomes in a paediatric intensive care setting. Method: The retrospective study was conducted in the paediatric intensive care unit of the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, and comprised medical records of all inpatients with age between 1 month and 16 years who received packed red blood cell transfusions between January and December 2017. Data was retrieved from the hospital database and was analyzed using SPSS 22. Results: Of the 147 subjects with a mean age of 67.89±65.8 months, 76(51.7%) were males. Mean paediatric risk of mortality score was 11.72±7.86. Major admitting diagnosis included sepsis and multiorgan dysfunction 50(34%), respiratory diseases 26(17.7%) and haematology/oncology diseases 22(15%). The indications for transfusion was low haemoglobin in 90(61.2%) patients, shock 29(19.7%) and hypoxia 28(19%). Acute transfusion reaction was observed in 1(0.7%) patient; 120(82%) required mechanical ventilation; and 94(64%) required inotropic support. Of the total, 88(59.9%) patients survived. Paediatric risk of mortality score, need for inotropic support and mechanical ventilation were associated with mortality (p<0.05). Conclusion: Packed red blood cell transfusion, which is frequently prescribed in intensive care settings, was not found to be associated with favourable outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1967-1971
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Mortality
  • Paediatric intensive care unit
  • RBC transfusions


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