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International Journal of Infectious Diseases: Volume 5, Number 1
Patients' Perceptions of Blood Transfusion Risks in Karachi, Pakistan
Stephen P. Luby, MD; Qaiser Niaz; Sheeraz Siddiqui; Syed A. Mujeeb, MBBS; and Susan Fisher-Hoch, MD

Int J Infect Dis. 2001. 5(1); 24-26.

Objective: To evaluate the understanding of and attitudes toward risks of blood transfusions among transfusion recipients in Karachi.

Methods: One hundred forty-one transfusion recipients from 13 major Karachi hospitals were interviewed. Indications for transfusion were obtained by reviewing the patients' medical records.

Results: The most common indications for transfusion were surgical complications (n = 77, 55%), anemia (n = 34, 24%), and generalized weakness (n = 15, 11%). Most recipients (n = 103, 80%) had never heard of viral hepatitis, and 44 (31%) had never heard of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Ninety-four recipients (66%) believed that generalized weakness was a valid indication for blood transfusion. Sixty-nine recipients (49%) were not willing to pay an increased price for blood that was screened for blood-borne pathogens.

Conclusions: Blood recipients in Karachi are unaware of the risks of transfusions, and the reasons given by the ordering physician for many of the transfusions were not consistent with international guidelines. Steps to educate the public about the risks of transfusions and practitioners about the indications for transfusion could prevent blood-borne virus transmission in Karachi.

Key Words: attitudes, blood transfusion, developing countries, knowledge, Pakistan, practice, transfusion recipient

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