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Asian J Transfus Sci. 2013 Jan;7(1):33-6. doi: 10.4103/0973-6247.106728.

Blood transfusion among thalassemia patients: A single Egyptian center experience.

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Department of Pediatrics, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.



Although red cell transfusions are lifesavers for patients with thalassemia, they are responsible for a series of complications and expose the patients to a variety of risks.


This cross-sectional study included 464 Egyptian beta(β) thalassemia major patients whose age ranged between 10 months and 31 years (mean 10.2 ± 6.6 years). All patients were subjected to thorough history taking with special emphasis on blood transfusions regarding rate of blood transfusion, type of received blood, and history of previous transfusion reactions in addition to type of chelation and compliance to iron chelation therapy and history of diabetes. Serum ferritin and pretransfusion hemoglobin assessment were done for all patients.


The mean pretransfusion hemoglobin level was 5.7 ± 1.16 g/dl. Allergic reactions were observed in 3.9% of the patients during the period of the study, while the history of previous allergic reaction was given by 72% of the patients. Deferiprone showed better compliance (58.6%) than deferoxamine (26.3%). The prevalence of diabetes was 10.1% among the studied group. On comparing diabetics to nondiabetics, serum ferritin, transfusion intervals, and age were statistically higher among diabetics (P<0.001).


Lower pretransfusion hemoglobin and high rate of prevalence of diabetes, in addition to better compliance to deferiprone than deferoxamine, were detected among the patients.


Iron chelators; allergic transfusion reactions; blood transfusion; β-thalassemia

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