This article reports the details of delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions in four patients with sickle cell disease. These cases demonstrate the characteristics of the reactions, the significant risks involved, and the principles useful in diagnosis and treatment. Patients with sickle cell disease are at particular risk for delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions because they may be transfused at intervals over many years; they frequently form alloantibodies because of antigenic differences from the donor population; and they may receive emergency care in different hospitals where transfusion records are not available. In addition, exchange transfusions, which are often used for patients with sickle cell disease and which were given in three of these cases, raise the risks through increased exposure to foreign erythrocyte antigens and through an increased volume of erythrocytes susceptible to hemolysis. It was concluded that the hazards of these transfusion reactions justify preventive measures, such as extended erythrocyte phenotyping of patients with sickle cell disease and extended phenotypic matching of transfused cells.
- Delayed hemolytic transfusion reaction
- Exchange transfusion
- Sickle cell disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas