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Transfusion. 2014 Nov;54(11):2852-62. doi: 10.1111/trf.12690. Epub 2014 May 20.

Fourteen-year experience of a tertiary hospital transfusion committee in West Africa.

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Department of Medicine, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana, UK.



Hospital transfusion committees (HTCs) have been established in the United States to link producers and users as well as to ensure appropriate use of blood. The HTC has been little reported in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), although it has been established in some hospitals.


The minutes of three to four HTC meetings per year in a tertiary hospital hosting its own blood service have been reviewed to examine the HTC role over a period of 14 years. Minutes were broken down into themes and indexes, and incomplete data were reinforced by other information sources. Specific data on progress over time were reviewed.


The HTC systematically scrutinized the blood supply, blood safety, donor care, clinical use of blood products, and costs. It operated more as a blood transfusion service supervisory board than the limited function allocated to western HTCs. Clinicians and hospital administration were directly involved in decision making and directing investigations to support potential changes and advances in the role and function of the blood transfusion service. The close relation with a UK major blood center and university laboratory provided the impetus and support for research and investigations preliminary to decision making. Data collected and analyzed were reported in the international literature and contributed to disseminate progress made.


The HTC in a major SSA tertiary hospital inclusive of all sections of hospital organization was critically instrumental in decision making, funding, and implementing measures improving the amount and quality of blood products on the basis of evidence collected despite lack of resources. Steps are taken to ensure sustainability of the HTC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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