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Arch Hellen Med, 33(4), July-August 2016, 661-670


The knowledge of nurses about blood transfusion in an oncology hospital

E. Petraka,1,2 Μ. Κritsioti,2 S. Valsami,1,3 Α. Leivada,4 Ι. Κalantzis,2 Ε. Μerkouri,1,5 Α. Τravlou,1,5 Ε. Grouzi1,4
1Postgraduate Program (MSc) "Thrombosis – Bleeding – Transfusion Medicine", Medical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens,
2Transfusion Service, "Metaxa" Special Anticancer Hospital, Pireus,
3Transfusion Service, "Aretaieio" Hospital, Athens,
4Transfusion Service, "Saint Savvas" Oncology Hospital, Athens,
5Laboratory of Thrombosis, Bleeding Disorders and Anticoagulation Monitoring, Medical Centre of Psychico, Athens, Greece

OBJECTIVE The administration of blood and blood components is a common hospital procedure and nurses play a significant role in safe blood transfusion. This study aimed to assess the knowledge of nurses about blood components transfusion in an Athens oncology hospital.

METHOD Data were collected using a questionnaire composed of 26 multiple-choice questions related to transfusion, which was distributed to 150 nurses in clinical settings where blood transfusion was common. The responses to each question were assessed for all participants and individually for each one, according to the guidelines of the British Committee for Standards in Hematology and the Hellenic Society of Hematology. Individual knowledge scores were categorized into three levels according to correct answers (very good >80%, moderate to good 50–80% and poor <50%). The data were analyzed with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), using descriptive and inferential statistical methods.

RESULTS Of the 125 nurses who completed the questionnaire (response rate 83.3%), 11 were men and 114 women. The respondents had from 5 to more than 15 years' work experience and 51 (40.8%) had a diploma in general nursing (GN), while 66 (52.8%) had completed the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) nursing course and 6.4% university education (UE), and 10 (13.6%) had a master/PhD in nursing. Overall, the respondents' knowledge of the issues of the storage and handling of blood products, immunohematology, transfusion safety, and side effects of blood components infusion was good (57%, 67.2%, 69.6%, 63%, respectively). No statistically significant difference was found between mean knowledge scores according to educational category, but the nurses working in departments with frequent transfusions recorded higher scores. The knowledge scores were scaled to 100% and ranged from 34.6% to 88.5%; 7 nurses (5.6%) had a score over 80%, 110 (88%) had scores between 50% and 80%, and the remaining 8 nurses (6.5%) less than 50%.

CONCLUSIONS The nurses' knowledge about the transfusion of blood and blood components was good. There is a need, however, for ongoing educational programs for all nurses involved in the administration of blood, and Hospital Transfusion Committees could play an important role in ensuring safe blood transfusion by establishing a transfusion protocol. In addition, accreditation of the competence of nurses every two years is suggested, following the example of Great Britain (NPSA Safer Practice Notice 14 [2006]).

Key words: Blood components, Blood transfusion, Knowledge, Nurse.

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