The attitudes and perceptions of health care professionals to alternatives to blood transfusion : a case with Jehovah's Witnesses patients in a critical care setting.
Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the attitudes and perceptions of health care professionals to alternatives to blood transfusion for Jehovah's Witnesses patients in a critical care setting. Methodology: Quantitative and qualitative approaches were used to explore the attitudes and perceptions of health care professional to alternatives to blood transfusion, in a critical care setting. The study was conducted in four largest hospitals in the Durban Metropolitan area, of which two were public and two private. A questionnaire was used as tool for collecting data. Space was provided to accommodate comments from the respondents in the questionnaire. Analysis of findings was done quantitatively by using a computer programme called SPSS (Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences), version 11.5. Themes that emerged from the participant's responses were classified under categories in the conceptual framework and analysed qualitatively. Findings: Most of the respondents had mixed feelings about using alternatives to blood transfusion. The study revealed, however, that although alternatives to blood transfusions were commonly used in a critical care setting, some of the respondents did not know about the different types of alternatives available. Furthermore, it was evident from the respondent's comments that most of them had a positive attitude to people who refused blood transfusion and preferred alternatives. Research into suitable alternatives to blood transfusion was encouraged by most of the respondents. However, transfusion transmitted diseases emerged as a current concern over and above the religious concerns. Recommendations for the future were made for the health care professionals working in critical care setting, nurse educators and nursing management.