Objective: To conduct a retrospective audit of red cell transfusion triggers in medical patients. Material and methods: Total number of medical patients admitted from August to November 2003 in the Military Hospital Rawalpindi. The historical record of the patients was evaluated for different parameters. Only those patients who had received red blood cell transfusions were selected. The cases were further sub-divided into different age and disease groups. The transfusion triggers and their justifications by the clinicians were recorded. They were compared with standard guidelines for red cell transfusions. Percentages of rational and unnecessary transfusions were-calculated. Results: Hemoglobin was the sole parameter used in ordering all red cell transfusions. A total number of 1244 transfusions were given to a1000 patients. Maximum number of transfusions was given to an age group of 21-31 years. A total of 690 transfusions were given to patients who presented with pregnancy-induced anemia. House officers ordered 92% of transfusions as per patients historical record.568 single unit transfusions were given to female patients who presented with pregnancy related problems. The male to female ratio for the number of transfusions was almost similar. Conclusion: 14.2 % (n=185) red cell transfusions were against standard guidelines.
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