EVALUATION OF IRON LEVELS IN VOLUNTARY BLOOD DONORS AT ENUGU STATE UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY TEACHING HOSPITAL ENUGU NIGERIA.

AUTHOR:UGWU AMAUCHE MARTINA

DEPARTMENT: MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE

 AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA

This study was designed to assess the iron stores and haematological parameters of voluntary blood donors. Three hundred and fifty voluntary blood donors between 18 and 50 years were recruited, for these study, 150 donated 1-5 units of blood in two years (group D1), 80 donated 6- 10 units of blood in three years (group D2), 60 donated 11- 15 units of blood in four years (group D3). A total of 60 apparently healthy age matched non blood donors were used as control (group D4). Out of 60 control subjects 38 were female while 22 were male. The study subjects were tested for ferritin, serum iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), percentage transferrin saturation (TS), haemoglobin (Hb), packed cell volume (PCV), mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), total and differential white blood cell (WBC), erythrocyte sedmentation rate (ESR), platelet, blood group, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis C virus (HCV), malaria parasite after obtaining an informed consent. The ferritin test were done with (STAT FAX 2100) ELISA machine, serum iron and TIBC tests were done by spectrophotometric method (spectrum lab 23A), haematological parameters were done by routine manual method and viral tests were done by immunochromatographic test strips. ANOVA, student t-test, paired t-test, Chi Square and Pearson correlation (r= 0.046, 0.001, – 0.906) was used for statistical analysis. The results showed that ferritin (ng/mL), serum iron (μmol/L), transferrin saturation (%) for D1, D2, D3 were significantly lower (F= 140.63; F= 40.67; F= 33.36; p < 0.05) compared with control. Ferritin (ng/mL), serum iron (μmol/L), haemoglobin (Hb), packed cell volume was significantly lower in female compared with male blood donors. Ferritin was significantly lower in female donors compared with non female donors. Ferritin (ng/mL) and serum iron (μmol/L) were significantly lower in blood group B compared with blood group A. In this study, iron depletion and iron deficiency were seen among 6.3% and 1.4% of voluntary blood donors respectively. Platelet (x109/l) and ESR for D1, D2, D3 were significantly lower (F= 35.28; F= 7.06; p < 0.05) compared with control. The results showed that 2.9%, 6%, 1.1% and 28.3% screened blood donors tested positive for HIV, HBsAg, HCV and malaria parasite respectively. This study therefore suggests that significant decrease in iron store may be due to alterations in iron metabolism that occur as a response to blood donation. It is important to conduct serum ferritin test in all the voluntary blood donors to prevent iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia.

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