Background: The novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) caused a sudden and unexpected increase in the number of hospital admissions and deaths worldwide. The impact of social distancing on blood stocks was significant. Data on the use of blood products by patients with COVID-19 are scarce.
Material and methods: A retrospective observational study was conducted by analysing the medical records of 3014 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in 16 Brazilian hospitals. Individual data related to clinical, laboratory and transfusion characteristics and outcomes of these patients were collected. Patients characteristics association with mortality and transfusion need were tested independently by logistic regression models.
Results: Patients mean age was 57·6 years. In 2298 (76·2%) patients, there was an underlying clinical comorbidity. A total of 1657 (55%) patients required admission to intensive care unit (ICU), and 943 (31%) patients required ventilatory support and orotracheal intubation (OTI). There was a total of 471 (15·6%) deaths among all patients. 325 patients (10·7%) required blood transfusion; 3187 blood products were transfused: 1364 red blood cells in 303 patients, 1092 platelet units in 78 patients, 303 fresh frozen plasma in 49 patients and 423 cryoprecipitates in 21 patients. The mortality among patients who received transfusion was substantially higher than that among the total study population.
Conclusion: Need for transfusion was low in COVID-19 patients, but significantly higher in patients admitted to ICU and in those who needed OTI. Knowledge of the transfusion profile of these patients allows better strategies for maintaining the blood stocks of hospitals during the pandemic.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS; SARS-COV-2; mortality; transfusion.
© 2021 International Society of Blood Transfusion.