The findings of a recent phase II trial in 160 children suggest that increased transfusion volumes may be beneficial to children with severe anemia in Africa. Olupot-Olupot and colleagues reported that children who received 30 ml/kg of whole blood (instead of 20 ml/kg as recommended by the WHO) were more likely to have corrected severe anemia (hazard ratio = 1.54, p=0.01) within 24-hours post transfusion. Children receiving increased transfusion volumes also had greater hemoglobin increases through the 28 day study period. Additionally, no serious or fatal adverse advents were attributed to increased transfusion volume. Further study is needed to confirm these results, but increasing transfusion volumes may benefit children with severe anemia by increasing hemoglobin more efficiently and by reducing the risk of multiple donor exposures to infections within the African blood supply.
1. Brick T, Peters MJ. Risks and benefits of transfusion for children with severe anemia in Africa. BMC medicine 2014; 12(1): 68.
2. Olupot-Olupot P, Engoru C, Thompson J, et al. Phase II trial of standard versus increased transfusion volume in Ugandan children with acute severe anemia. BMC medicine 2014; 12(1): 67.