Prophylactic transfusions of normal red blood cells during pregnancies complicated by sickle cell hemoglobinopathies

F. Gary Cunningham, Jack A. Pritchard, Ruble Mason, Gwendolyn Chase

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37 Scopus citations


Prophylactic transfusions of normal donor red cells were administered during 37 pregnancies to women with sickle cell anemia, sickle cell-hemoglobin C disease, of sickle cell-beta thalassemia disease. Once the diagnosis was confirmed, the transfusions were administered intermittently throughout the rest of the pregnancy in such amounts and at such frequencies that no more than 60% of the circulating red cells contained hemoglobin Sand the hematocrit was above 25.: The maternal mortality rate was zero and maternal morbidity as the consequence of the sickle cell hemoglobinopathy was minimal. The perinatal mortality rate was appreciably reduced when compared to that previously observed without prophylactic transfusions but perinatal morbidity was still excessive. Evidence that the intrauterine environment was compromised, in spite of the transfusions consisted of an increased frequency of growth-retarded fetuses, of meconium staining of amnionic fluid, and of ominous decelerations-of fetal heart rate. Morbidity from the transfusions was troublesome. Nonetheless, it is concluded tentatively:. that both the mother with a sickle cell hemoglobinopathy and her fetus are iikely to benefit from prophylactic transfusions of normal donor red cells administered during one pregnancy according to the protocol employed in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-1003
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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