Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2019 Feb;114(2):137-144.
doi: 10.1111/vox.12745. Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Assessing the Impact of Respiratory Infections and Weather Conditions on Donor Attendance and Blood Inventory in Hong Kong

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Assessing the Impact of Respiratory Infections and Weather Conditions on Donor Attendance and Blood Inventory in Hong Kong

Kathy Leung et al. Vox Sang. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Maintaining a stable, safe and sufficient blood supply is crucial to the healthcare system. Every year, seasonal influenza epidemics lead to substantial hospitalizations and pose intense pressure on blood transfusion service worldwide, especially in an ageing population of Hong Kong which often see bi-annual influenza outbreaks. However, limited quantitative studies have been performed to assess the impacts of influenza and other respiratory infections on blood supply.

Methods: We estimated the impacts of respiratory infections on donor attendance and blood inventory, considering the confounding effects of weather conditions. The method only required influenza-like illness data from the existing sentinel surveillance network, local weather data, donor attendance records from blood transfusion service and blood inventory levels from local healthcare system.

Results: We estimated the number of donor attendance dropped by 6-10% when the number of consultations with influenza-like illnesses (ILIs) reported by sentinel general outpatient clinics exceeded five per 1000 consultations, which is a moderate activity level and has been observed frequently in Hong Kong. Blood inventory decreased with increased ILI consultation rates reported by sentinel general outpatient clinics. Adverse weather conditions had negative impacts on both donor attendance and blood inventory.

Conclusion: Epidemics of influenza and other respiratory infections coupled with adverse weather conditions affected blood supply in Hong Kong. The pressure on blood transfusion service to maintain a stable and sufficient blood supply during influenza seasons should not be overlooked, especially in an ageing population of Hong Kong.

Keywords: adverse weather; blood donation; blood inventory; donor; influenza; respiratory infection; temperature.

Figures

Figure 1.
Figure 1.. Outcome and explanatory variables in the regression model.
(A) Daily number of donor attendance with markers indicating Typhoon No. 8 warnings, Frost warnings and the first day of Chinese Lunar New Year. (B) Daily number of blood products issued to HA hospitals. (C) Daily number of blood products in stock/inventory by HA blood bank with markers indicating the dates when BTS appealed for more blood donations. (D) Daily ILI consultation rates attributable to influenza per 1,000 consultations reported by GOPCs (linear interpolation from weekly rates). (E) Daily ILI consultation rates attributable to other respiratory infections per 1,000 consultations reported by GOPCs. (F) Daily mean temperature (°C). (G) Daily total rainfall (mm).
Figure 2.
Figure 2.. Impacts of temperature and GOPC ILI consultation rates on donor attendance and blood inventory estimated in the GAM model (with cubic regression splines and basis dimensions of 5).
(A) The effects of daily mean temperature and GOPC ILI consultation rates on donor attendance. (B) The effects of daily mean temperature and GOPC ILI consultation rates on blood product units in stock/inventory by HA. Heat plot at the bottom of each subplot showed the frequency of data points. Darker colour indicated higher frequency.
Figure 3.
Figure 3.. The number of donor attendance before and after typhoon cyclone No. 8 warning on 12 June 2017 and frost warning on 23–26 January 2016.
(A) Number of donor attendance on 5–19 June 2017. The World Blood Donor Day was on 14 June 2017 and BTS had blood donation campaign on that day. (B) Number of donor attendance between 16 January and 2 February 2016. BTS appealed publicly to call for more blood donations on 19 January 2016 in preparation for the upcoming cold weather.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

MeSH terms

Feedback