The purpose of this survey was to establish baseline information on blood component use in relation to patient diagnoses, procedures, and demographics and to identify patterns of blood use that may be used for blood program planning and transfusion audits.
A cross-sectional survey of the transfusion of blood components in teaching and nonteaching hospitals in central Ontario between September 1991 and August 1992 was carried out. Coders of hospital medical records routinely record demographics, procedures, diagnoses, and other relevant information. A protocol was created by which medical records coders could add the components transfused to the discharge abstract for this study. Red cell use is reported here.
Of the 61 hospitals invited to participate, from which 547,279 patients were discharged during the 12-month period of the study, 45 (74%) agreed to participate. Information was collected on 439,373 discharged patients. Of these, 26,611 (6.1%) received at least 1 unit of red cells. Of a total of 101,116 red cell units transfused, more than 74 percent were used in patients discharged with neoplasms, gastrointestinal diseases, circulatory system diseases, and trauma. High-transfusion-use procedures included operations and procedures on the digestive and cardiovascular systems, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, musculoskeletal system, and hemic or lymphatic system procedures.
This survey provides baseline blood transfusion information for a specific period that can help determine the need for hospital audits and maximum surgical blood-order schedule guideline reviews. This information is relevant to current recommendations to reduce patient's exposure to blood components. These transfusion data will assist in blood program planning based on known disease trends, demographics, and population changes.
A search of death certificates in the Registrar of Births and Deaths in Newfoundland was conducted covering the period of 1974 to 1978. In addition to 103 cases of suicide recorded on the certificates, in 104 cases no cause of death was recorded. The latter were further investigated through records of the forensic pathologist to determine the causes of death. Out of these, 14 cases were found to be unequivocal suicides and in 58 cases, cause of death was undetermined, or not investigated. These were added to the reported suicides (103) to provide a maximum possible correction for under-reporting. The suicide rate in Newfoundland still remains less than half the national rate in spite of the correction for underreporting. Implications of these findings are discussed in the light of reported research literature in this field, and social factors in the province.