Aim Neonatal blood-product transfusion practices and policies vary widely among different institutions. The aim of this survey was to evaluate the threshold for packed red cell (PRC) transfusion for non-haemolytic neonatal anaemia in neonatal units across the UK.
Methods Data regarding the threshold for PRC transfusion in neonatal units was collected by means of telephone conversation. The number of units called was random and the first 100 units to provide full details were regarded as end point. Data was collected from April 2010 to August 2010.
Results Of the 100 units surveyed, 46% were level II units (46/100), 32% were level III (32/100) and 22% (22/100) were level I units. Eight units did not have a documented transfusion policy (4 level I and 4 level II). The range of transfusion thresholds between the units is shown in Figure 1 and the most commonly used transfusion thresholds (TT) is shown Figure 2.
Discussion There was wide variation in threshold for PRC transfusion across the units we surveyed. Some units did not have a transfusion policy. A national guideline based on consensus and evidence is recommended to ensure homogeneity in clinical practice between units. This will also be useful in auditing, ensure accountability and cost effective practice.