Background Red cell tranfusion is a common treatment for patients with chronic anemias, particularly cancer patients. We wanted to examine what subjective differences the patients themselves experienced from the week before to the week after receiveing transfusion.
Material and methods We used the multi-dimensional questionnaire QLQ-C30 from the European Organization for Research and Treatment of cancer (EORTC). Patients were recruited from the haematological out-patients clinic at Ullevål University Hospital. The nurses were to include consecutively patients with longlasting anemia who came to receive red cell transfusions. The participants would complete the first questionnaire while receiving the transfusion, and the second at home, one week after transfusion. Allthough the estimated sample size was 26 patients, we got only eight complete pair of questionnaires, mainly due to administrative problems.
Results Using the Wilcoxon matched pairs signed rank sum test, we found that there was a significant improvement in fatigue and emotional functioning the week after a transfusion. When using the Sign test there was a significant improvement only in fatigue. We found no significant changes in the Global health /quality of life scales.
Conclusion Blood transfusions seem to have an effect on the patient´s feeling of fatigue and might also have an effect on emotional functioning. But since the number of patients was low we can not draw too certain conclusions.