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Background: To respond to the high demand of hospitals for the lack of enough platelets, in 2015, Rwanda national centre for blood transfusion introduced apheresis to produce more platelets. The high increase of impaired bone marrow among cancer patients was declared to be the main cause of the urgent demand of transfused platelets. The aim of this study was to describe the practice of platelets transfusion at Butaro cancer centre.
Methodology: A retrospective study of 238 patients who received platelets transfusions at Butaro Cancer Centre of Excellence within a period of 24 months was carried out. Laboratory register books for blood transfusion, patients’ chart files and open clinic patient information software were used to identify all patients who received platelets transfusion at BCCOE during the study period. A collection form was used to record all the required data.
Results: A sum of 209 (87.8%) of receivers of platelets transfusion were cancer patients. Majority of those cancer patients had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Out of 1318 platelets units requested, only 925(70.2%) were received of which 573(43.4%) were O Rhesus positive. Among diagnosed cancers, Lymphomas (Chi square =7;P=.01) was statistically significant to be associated with the increase rate of platelets after transfusion. The combination of all diagnosed cancers (Chi square=11;P=.03) were associated with the increase rate of platelets after transfusion.
Conclusion: Regardless the indication of platelets transfusion, the increase of platelet count was observed after each transfusion. Ministry of health has to ensure the availability of platelets for a good care of thrombocytopenic patients of whom cancer patients are the most.