Evaluation of blood supply operation and infectious disease markers in blood donors during the Egyptian revolution

Transfusion. 2012 Nov;52(11):2321-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2012.03592.x. Epub 2012 Mar 12.


Background: The Egyptian revolution took place on January 25, 2011. Millions of protesters demanded the overthrow of the Egyptian president's regime. Many people suffered from life-threatening injuries after violent clashes between police and protesters.

Study design and methods: The overall management of the blood bank operation at Cairo University Hospital was described, in an attempt to evaluate blood safety and establish a standard effective plan to manage blood supply during crisis.

Results: Three days after the uprising, thousands of Egyptians rushed to the hospital to alleviate the blood shortage. A total of 3425 units were collected in 3 days and thousands of donors were turned away. An error delayed processing of 1000 units and they were used as stored whole blood. Apheresis platelets were donated by protesters who were particularly motivated to donate for two victims with liver injury. The usual positive rate of hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody in Egyptian donors is 3.8%. However, the positive rate of HCV markers in the collected units was only 1.6%. The mean age of donors during the revolution was 31.7±10.4 years while the usual mean age of donors is 39.2±8.5 years. Operating theaters were used only for emergencies. A blood surplus developed that met the hospital needs for 1 month.

Conclusion: Revolution resulted in an influx of first-time donors with a relatively low positive rate of HCV antibody. To be prepared for disasters, a systematic approach to spread donors evenly on a daily basis is needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Banks / statistics & numerical data*
  • Blood Component Removal / statistics & numerical data
  • Blood Donors / statistics & numerical data
  • Blood Safety / statistics & numerical data*
  • Blood Transfusion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Egypt / epidemiology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis B / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology
  • Hospitals, Urban / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Transfusion / statistics & numerical data
  • Riots / statistics & numerical data*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Syphilis / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult