Background: Transfusion recipient data are needed for correct estimation of cost-effectiveness in terms of recipient outcomes after transfusion. Also, such data are essential for monitoring blood use, estimation of future blood use and benchmarking. Study Design and Methods: A sample of 20 of 93 Dutch hospitals was selected. Datasets containing all blood product transfusions between 1996 and 2006 were extracted from hospital blood bank computer systems, containing transfusion date, blood product type and recipient characteristics such as gender, address, date of birth. The datasets were appended and matched to national hospitalization datasets including primary discharge diagnoses (ICD-9). Using these data, we estimated distributions of blood recipient characteristics in the Netherlands. Results: The dataset contains information on 290 043 patients who received 2 405 012 blood products (1 720 075 RBC, 443 697 FFP, 241 240 PLT) from 1996 to 2006. This is 28% of total blood use in the Netherlands during this period. Comparable diagnosis and age distributions of all hospitalizations indicate included hospitals to be representative, per hospital category, for the Netherlands. Of all red blood cells (RBC), fresh-frozen plasma (FFP) and platelets (PLT), respectively 1·7%, 2·5% and 4·5% were transfused to neonates. Recipients of 65 years or older received 57·6% of RBC, 41·4% of FFP and 29·0% of PLT. Most of the blood products were transfused to patients with diseases of the circulary system (25·1%) or neoplasms (22·0%). Conclusion: Transfusion data from a limited sample of hospitals can be used to estimate national distributions of blood recipient characteristics.

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Vox Sanguinis
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Borkent-Raven, B., Janssen, M., van der Poel, C., Schaasberg, W., Bonsel, G., & van Hout, B. (2010). The PROTON study: Profiles of blood product transfusion recipients in the Netherlands. Vox Sanguinis, 99(1), 54–64. doi:10.1111/j.1423-0410.2010.01312.x