By Stella Nikolaou, Clinical Research Fellow, The Royal Marsden Hospital and Imperial College London and Shahnawaz Rasheed, Consultant Surgeon, The Royal Marsden Hospital and Senior Lecturer, Imperial College London.
Worldwide, there are more than 5 million people who die from violence and injury1. Uncontrolled bleeding causes more than 40% of trauma-related deaths1. More than 530 000 women die each year during pregnancy, childbirth or post partum and 99% of these women are in low and middle-income countries with severe bleeding being the commonest cause of death1. Safe and affordable surgery, therefore relies on access to a sufficient volume of blood which can be safely transfused2.
By guest bloggers Sophie Uyoga and Charles Kamau, Research Scientists in Kilifi, Kenya
Africa has the highest risk of road traffic accident globally.
Most blood prescribed for transfusion in the developing world is mainly in emergency care. According to the WHO 2015 Report on Road Safety, the African Region has the highest risk of road traffic accident, one of the greatest contributors of emergencies needing blood transfusions. However, hospitals in this region are constantly facing blood stock outs, greatly contributes to the poor outcome all forms of medical emergencies as well as among admissions with severe anaemia. A clinical trial in East Africa by Kiguli et al., demonstrated how timely access reduces the risk of mortality among children with severe anaemia with a high proportion of those not transfused dying within 2.5 hours post admission.
By Professor Kathryn Maitland, Professor of Tropical Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Director of Centre of African Research and Engagement, Imperial College London.
Each year, World Blood Donor Day highlights the importance of blood donations as the transfusion of blood is a life-saving intervention. In any health system, the provision of adequate supplies of safe blood for transfusion is an essential undertaking.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the blood requirement for countries to be in the region of 10 – 20 units per 1000 population per year. Yet in many sub-Saharan African countries, donations are far lower, in some countries as low as 2 units/1000 population/year.