Sickle cell disease and the adherence to guidelines for the use of blood transfusions in Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq
Background and objective: One of the important health problems in Duhok city, Iraqi Kurdistan Region, is sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion remains a significant therapeutic intervention in patients with sickle cell disease that reduces complications related to vaso-occlusions. This study aimed to assess compliance to guidelines for the use of blood transfusionsin Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study that included 135 patients with sickle cell disease registered at Jeen center of pediatric hematological diseases in Duhok, Kurdistan, Iraq. Between April 1st and July 31st, 2019, 205 medical visits of sickle cell disease were registered. Every patient was evaluated to record the clinical setting and explanations behind visiting and indications for transfusion.
Results: Of 135 patients,65.9% had sickle cell anemia (HbSS disease), 33.3% had sickle beta thalassemia, and one patient (0.7%) had Sickle/D disease. A total of 205 medical visits of sickle cell disease were registered with 84 blood transfusion decisions. The most common indicated guideline reasons for transfusion were symptomatic anemia and acute hemolytic crisis with a drop of hemoglobin >2 g/dl below steady state hemoglobin and severe painful crisis only accounted for 38.1%.
Conclusion: In this study of patients with sickle cell disease, most blood transfusions were not indicated according to the transfusion guidelines (British Committee for Standards in Haematology – BCSH, 2017).
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