Blood bank issues associated with red cell exchanges in sickle cell disease

Ravindra Sarode, Fevzi Altuntas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Sickle cell disease (SCD) patients are prone to develop complications that include stroke, acute chest syndrome, and other crises. Some of these complications require chronic transfusion therapy or red cell exchange (RCE), either for therapeutic or prophylactic reasons. Due to a discrepancy of red cell antigens between African Americans and Caucasians (majority blood donors), the incidence of alloantibody formation is very high, which makes it difficult to find compatible red cell units, especially for urgent RCE. Some of the above conditions require immediate oxygen delivery to the tissues. Thus, SCD patients undergoing RCE should receive red blood cells with special attributes that include matching for Rh and Kell blood group antigens; RBCs should be fresh in order to provide (1) immediate oxygen delivery and (2) longer surviving cells to reduce the interval between RCE. Also, these units should be pre-storage leukoreduced to prevent febrile non-hemolytic reactions and screened for sickle cell traits to avoid transfusing red cells containing HbS. This requires a concerted effort between the apheresis unit, the local blood bank, and the central blood supplier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-273
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Apheresis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


  • Apheresis
  • Blood bank
  • Red blood cell
  • Red cell exchange
  • Sickle cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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