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Monitoring transfusion practices at two university hospitals


*Correspondence: Kjell Titlestad, Department of Clinical Immunology, Odense University Hospital, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark Tel.: +45-65-41-35-76 Fax: +45-66-12-79-75 E-mail:


Background and Objectives

Considering the clinical importance of blood transfusions, the limited knowledge of transfusion practices is remarkable. New methods are needed to elucidate the observed variation of transfusion practices.

Materials and methods

All patients transfused or pretransfusion tested (i.e. at risk for blood transfusion) at two tertiary teaching hospitals during the full years of 1997 and 1998 were included in the study.


The observed practices contained substantial variance at the level of hospitals. The contributions to the total variance of the different specialities were highly significant, as was the contribution of hospitals to the variance in plasma and platelet transfusions. Significant interactions between hospitals and specialities were observed in transfusion of red cells, plasma and platelets.


To our knowledge this is the first survey of this size to combine transfusions, diagnoses and biochemical tests, exclusively based on an existing computerized register. The aim is to establish a basis for comparison of local transfusion practices with other commensurate hospitals and regions at a national (and international) level.