In sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA) and other low‐ and middle‐income regions, the majority of blood transfusions are given as whole blood. High‐income countries use preparations of red cell concentrates for transfusions rather than whole blood, which is in line with international recommendations. This involves removing the majority of plasma from donated whole blood by centrifugation and adding an additive solution. Red cell preparations are being increasingly promoted in sub‐Saharan Africa, but whether the exclusive use of packed red cell transfusions, which for the purposes of this study we define as any preparation of red blood cells derived from one unit of whole blood, is necessary or beneficial in SSA vs. whole blood, is unclear. Understanding why packed red cells are recommended, and the evidence to support these recommendations, is important to ensure the most appropriate use of packed red cells and whole blood for clinical use in SSA.
Read the analysis of clinical practice guidelines from sub‐Saharan Africa and evidence underpinning recommendations, published in Tropical Medicine and International Health.