Knowledge, attitude and practice survey of bacterial contamination of blood for transfusion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Anne-Sophie Heroes, Paul Kabamba, Aimée Luyindula, Bernard Bongenya, Pierre Nzazi, Monica Nasali, Cathérine Akele, Marie-Paule Lusinga, John Ekofo, José Coene, Inge Van Cauwenberg, Philippe Vandekerckhove, Octavie Lunguya, Jan Jacobs

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review

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BACKGROUND: We assessed healthcare worker's knowledge-attitude-practice regarding bacterial contamination of blood products in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In three hospitals and the National Blood Transfusion Centre (NBTC), two multiple-choice surveys were completed on a tablet computer: one each, for blood bank (31 questions) and for clinical ward staff (20 questions). A score was calculated for 11 overlapping knowledge questions.

RESULTS: Among 247 participants (blood bank No.=62, ward No.=185), median (range) knowledge score was 10 (2-19) on a maximum of 20, with blood bank staff (12/20) scoring higher than clinical ward staff (9/20) (p<0.0001). Half (50.2%) of 247 participants recalled previous training in transfusion medicine. Participants had limited understanding of and compliance with NBTC-recommended preventive measures: incorrect assumption that wearing gloves prevents bacterial contamination (83.8%) and that blood banks test donor blood for bacteria (59.9%). Half (50.0%) of blood bank staff did not acknowledge the NBTC-recommended antisepsis procedure, 62.1% did not apply the appropriate number of antisepsis steps, and 32.3% saw no harm in touching the venipuncture site after antisepsis. Presence of bacteria on healthy skin (62.3%) and blood bank fomites (examination gloves: 30.8%, soap: 62.8%) was underestimated. Although 92.4% of clinical ward staff said to easily recognize transfusion reactions, only 15.7% recognized septic reactions and post-transfusion antibiotic treatment practices were not consistent. Challenges reported by blood bank staff and particular for low-resource settings were: frequent power cuts (98.4%), transport of blood products by patient attendants (41.1%), without cooling elements (64.4%), and reuse of finished antiseptic/disinfectant containers (75.4%).

DISCUSSION: The present study points to gaps in knowledge, attitudes, practices along sampling, cold chain and transfusion which can feed customized training and monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBlood Transfusion
Number of pages21
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023


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