3Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Bayero Uniiversity, Nigeria
Submission: August 03, 2018; Published: August 31, 2018
*Corresponding author: Imoru Momodu, Haematology Department, School of Medical Laboratory Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria.
How to cite this article: Imoru M, Sani A, Isah S Y, Erhabor O. Assessment of Some Haematological and Biochemical Parameters of Family
Replacement Blood Donors in Gusau, Nigeria. Open Acc Blood Res Trans J. 2018; 2(4): 555593. DOI: 10.19080/OABTJ.2018.02.555593
Background: Millions of lives are saved each year through blood transfusions and these necessitate the regular supply of blood to treat patients requiring transfusions. The aim of this study was to determine the haematological and biochemical parameters of family replacement donors since they are the major source of blood donors in Northern Nigeria.
Materials and methods:Two-hundred and twenty-eight family replacement donors, whose ages were 18-54 years, were recruited from Federal Medical Centre and Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, Gusau, Zamfara State for the determination of values of haematocrit, haemoglobin, RBC count, MCH, MCV, MCHC, serum iron, serum ferritin and TIBC using standard techniques.
Results: The values of haematocrit, haemoglobin, RBC count, MCH, MCV and MCHC were 38.8±3.6%, 12.6±1.3g/dL, 5.3±0.56 X 1012/L, 23.9±2.0pg, 73.6±6.2 fl, 32.6±2.5g/dL, respectively while the levels of serum iron, serum ferritin and TIBC were 15.3±5.2μmol/L, 69.4±45.1ng/ml, 45.5±15.4μmol/L, respectively. Age groups of ˂ 24 years, 25-34 years, 35-44 years and 45-54 years had no significant effects on the values of haematocrit, haemoglobin, RBC count, MCH, MCV, MCHC, serum iron, serum ferritin and TIBC (P˃0.05).
Conclusion: Family replacement donors should be encouraged for donation since they have similar values of haematological and biochemical parameters compared to voluntary and first-time donors. In the process, there will be sufficient units of blood in the blood banks as a result of the increased number of unused blood donated by these donors.
Millions of lives are saved each year through blood transfusions and these necessitate the regular supply of blood to treat severe anemia in children under five years old, management of pregnancy related complications, massive trauma, cancer among other conditions [1,2].
A blood donor generally donates approximately 450ml of blood, which results in a loss of approximately 225mg of iron with subsequent mobilization of iron from body iron stores. However, if the donor has no iron-deficiency, the erythrocytes and the haemoglobin level will generally return to normal within 3-4 weeks. Therefore, adequate iron stores are very important in the maintenance of the donor [2-4]. The regulation of systemic iron is through the problems “transferrin” (iron mobilization) and “ferritin” (iron
sequestration)  but the indicator of mobilizable body iron stores is the serum ferritin concentration .
The American Association of Blood Banks has standard minimum haemoglobin levels of 13.5g/dL and 12.5g/dL for men and women blood donors, respectively . In Nigeria, there seems to be less emphasis on the haematological and biochemical parameters of family replacement donors that are predominantly source of blood donors in Northern Nigeria. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the values of some haematological and biochemical parameters of family replacement donors in order to guide the blood bank staff
in the selection of blood donors in Zamfara, Northern Nigeria.
A total of two hundred and twenty-eight (228) recruited
family replacement donors from Federal Medical Centre and
Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, Gusau, Zamfara State,
whose ages were 18-65 years were studied between January and
The inclusion criteria for the blood donors were that they
must be sero-negative for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV
1 and 2), hepatitus B and C viruses and syphilis infections while
the exclusion criteria were based on current iron therapy and
recent blood donation, that is, less than three months.
After the written consent from the blood donors and ethical
clearance letter from the ethical committees of Federal medical
Centre and Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, Gusau, Zamfara
State, five milliliters (5ml) of whole blood was collected from
each blood donor asceptically and 2ml of blood was put into
tripotassium EDTA tube while the remaining 3ml was put in a
The blood samples in the EDTA bottles were analyzed for full
count using Mythic 18, automated haematology analyzer while
the samples in the plain containers were analyzed for serum
iron level using iron NP colorimetric test kit with Nitro-PAPS,
serum ferritin level using Human Ferritin Elisa Kit and total iron
blinding capacity (TIBC) level using Chemelex Labkit. All these
kits were used based on the manufacturers’ instructions.
Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20 and the results
were expressed as mean±standard deviation while comparison
of haematological and biochemical parameters of family
replacement blood donors with age was analyzed using analysis
of variance (ANOVA). P˂ 0.05 was considered to be statistically
The red cell parameter of family replacement blood
donors in Gusau are shown in Table 1. The mean values for
haematocrit, haemoglobin, red blood count (RBC) count, mean
cell haemoglobin (MCH), mean cell volume (MCV) and Mean cell
haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) were 38.8 ± 3.6%, 12.56 ±
1.3g/dL, 5.3 ± 0.56 X 1012 /L, 23.9 ± 2.0 pg, 73.6 ± 6.2fl and
32.6 ± 2.5g/dL, respectively. Table 2 shows the biochemical
parameters of family replacement blood donors in Gusau. The
mean values for serum iron, serum ferritin and TIBC were 15.3 ±
5.2μmol/L, 69.4 ± 45.1ng/mL and 45.5 ± 15.4μmol/L.
Comparison of red cell parameters of family replacement
blood donors with age is show in Table 3. The age groups of ˂24
years, 25-34 years, 35-44 years and 45-54 years had haematocrit
levels of 38.4 ± 3.9%, 39.1 ± 3.3%, 37.8 ± 3.0% and 38.4 ± 3.9%,
respectively (P = 0.1608); haemoglobin values of 12.6 ±1.4g/dL,
12.7 ± 1.2 g/dL, 12.7 ± 1.1 g/dL and 12.7 ± 1.9 g/dL, respectively
(P = 0.9733); RBC counts of 5.3 ± 0.6 X1012/L, 5.3 ± 0.5 X 1012/L,
5.3 ± 0.6 X 1012/L and 5.4 ± 0.8 x 1012/L, respectively (P =
0.9073); MCH values of 24.2 ± 2.4 pg, 24.0 ± 1.8pg, 23.5 ± 2.0pg
and 23.7 ± 1.8pg, respectively (P= 0.3047); MCV values of 74.7 ±
7.1 fl, 74.0 ± 5.9 fl, 72.4 ± 6.1 fl and 72.1 ± 5.5 fl, respectively (P =
0.17), and MCHC values of 32.6 ± 3.0g/dL, 32.7 ± 2.8g/dL, 32.3 ±
1.5g/dL and 32.6 ± 1.3g/dL, respectively (P = 0.7567).
Table 4 reveals the comparison biochemical parameters of
family replacement blood donors with respect to age. The age
group of ˂24 years, 25-34 years, 35-44 years and 45-54 years
had serum iron levels of 14.6 ± 4.2μmol/L, 15.7 ± 5.6μmol/L,
14.8 ± 5.8μmol/L and 15.7 ± 2.9μmol/L, respectively (P=
0.5539); serum ferritin levels of 58.5 ± 27.5ng/m, 68.3 ± 42.9ng/
mL, 74.4 ± 49.3ng/mL and 89.6 ± 70.2ng/mL, respectively (P=
0.0576); TIBC values of 43.9 ± 12.4μmol/L, 46.5 ± 16.5μmol/L
44.6 ± 17.4μmol/L, 46.7 ± 8.9μmol/L, respectively (P = 0.737).
The importance of haematological and biochemical
parameters of family replacement donors in Nigeria cannot be
overemphasized since they are predominantly the source of
blood donors in northern Nigerian and Nigeria as a whole.
The values of haemocrit, haemoglobin and RBC count of
family replacement donors in this study are consistent with
the findings of previous researchers on apparently healthy
donors, first-time donors, voluntary donors and samples from
prospective blood donors at Kenyan regional blood transfusion
centres [2,7-10]. This shows that the values of haemotocrit,
haemoglobin and RBC count are comparable to that of voluntary
donors and therefore, family replacement donors should be
encouraged for blood donation in Northern Nigeria provided
the donors are free from transfusion transmissible infections in
addition to satisfying all other requirements for blood donation.
This will further boost the units of blood in our blood banks in
Nigeria since some of the units of blood donated for the patients
by the relatives are not utilized.
In this study, there were no statistically significant
differences in the values of haemotocrit, haemoglobin and RBC
count of family replacement blood donors with respect to age
and these are in line with the earlier report .
The study has further revealed the lower values of 23.9 ±
2.0pg and 73.6 ± 6.2 fl for MCH and MCV, respectively compared
to the previous studies on voluntary donors, first time donors and
apparently healthy donors. The differences might be associated
with mild lower values of haemoglobin and haematocrit in this
study [2,9,12]. However, the value of MCHC observed in this
study is in line with the earlier findings [2,9,12]. The values of
MCHC, MCV and MCHC among the family replacement donors
did not differ with age and these are in support of previous study
on healthy Chinese adults .
Divergent views have been expressed on the serum iron and
ferritin levels of blood donors. This study has revealed serum
iron and ferritin levels of 15.3 ± 5.2μmol/L and 69.4 ± 45.1ng/
mL, which are in agreement with some of the previous findings on
first-time donors [2,14-16] but at variance with the reports from
other studies. The different values from various authors could be
associated with the dietary habits of blood donors, sensitivities
of serum iron and ferritin kits utilized, and techniques among
other factors [8,10]. However, the serum iron and ferritin levels
are within the reference ranges .
Total iron binding capacity (TIBC) level in this study is
lower than the reported TIBC values on first-time blood donors.
However, the reported values from all authors are within the
documented wide reference range  but the different values
for TIBC may be associated with the techniques employed and
sensitivity of kits [2,8,14]. The mean values of serum iron,
ferritin and TIBC did not differ significantly with respect to age
in this study.
In conclusion, since there are no adequate voluntary donors
to donate sufficient blood for most of our patients in Nigeria,
family replacement donors, that are usually non-remunerated
donors should be encouraged for donation based on comparable
or similar haematological and biochemical parameters to the
voluntary and first-time donors. In the process, units of blood
in our blood banks will be boosted as a result of unused pints of
blood donated by the relatives of these patients and the deaths
associated with massive blood loss will be reduced significantly.