Impact of Covid?19 epidemic on the activities of a blood centre, transfusion support for infected patients and clinical outcomes

AbstractObjectives

We evaluated how the Severe Acute Respiratory disease from Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic impacted transfusion services, transfusion support required by Covid-19 patients and their clinical outcome.

Background

In Italy, the first confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 infection was registered on 21 February 2020. As of 20 April, about 250?000 cases were registered, 1143 of which were in the province of Pescara.

Methods

We compared transfusion services provided by the blood centre of Pescara between 1 March and 20 April 2019 and between 1 March and 20 April 2020. We assessed the number and type of blood components donated, those transfused in the various hospital departments and those transfused to Covid-19 patients.

Results

Compared to 2019, we documented a decrease of 32% in the number of donations. The number of transfusions increased by 139% in the infectious diseases department (IDD), dedicated to Covid-19 patients, and by 76% in the intensive care unit (ICU), whereas it markedly decreased in the other departments. Of 299 patients with Covid-19, 60 were transfused (20.1%). Transfused patients in the ICU were significantly younger than those in IDD and had a lower number of lymphocytes, lower post-transfusion increment of haemoglobin levels and higher D-dimer and C reactive protein values. Mortality rate was 60.7% among transfused patients in the ICU and 39.0% among those in the IDD (p =?0.02).

Conclusion

The Covid-19 epidemic had a profound impact on transfusion activities. The important blood demand for Covid-19 patients was satisfied because of the reduction in activities in other hospital wards. Covid-19-positive transfused patients showed a very poor prognosis.