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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 16(2); 2005 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2005;16(2): 274-280.
Clinical Analysis of Patients Who Refused a Blood Transfusion
Woong Ji Choi, Soo Hyeong Cho, Seong Jung Kim
Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju, Korea. chosooh@hanmail.net
Non-blood transfusion is of increasing interest as more patients are refusing a blood transfusion because of religious belief, infection, or fear of a blood-transmitted disease such as AIDS. This study analyzed clinical findings to help the treatment and management of patients who want a non-blood transfusion.
Of the 83 patients who visited the non-blood transfusion center in Chosun University Hospital from June 2001 to December 2003, 59 patients had a sufficient clinical record, and these were reviewed retrospectively. We investigated sex, age, the reason for the visit, the reason for refusing a blood transfusion, the degree of anemia, the necessity of the blood transfusion, the histories of transfusion and attempted non-blood transfusion, and the histories of visits to emergency departments and the outcomes.
The male-to-female ratio was 1:2.93, and the most prevalent ages of the patients were in the forties (26 patients) and thirties (10 patients). The reasons for refusing a blood transfusion were religion (48 patients, 81.4%), risk of infection (1 patients, 1.7%), and other (10 patients, 16.9%). Among the specialty departments, the proportions of patients from the departments of obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, general surgery and orthopedics were 40.7% (24 patients), 25.4%, 11.9%, and 6.8%, respectively. Of the patients, 28 patients (47.5%) were admitted directly to the emergency department, and 39 patients (66.1%) were operated on. A blood transfusion was considered to be necessary for 16 patients (27.1%), but only a 2 patients (3.4%) actually received a blood transfusion. Of those 14 patients, 3patients (21.4%) died. After admission, 17 patients (29.8%) received a non-blood transfusion.
Most of the patients visited the non-blood transfusion center for religious reasons, and the majority of the patients were admitted from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Many of the patients medically should have received blood transfusion, but only a few actually did.
Key words: Transfusion, Religious belief, Infection
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