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Middle East J Anaesthesiol. 2008 Jun;19(5):983-95.

Assessment of perioperative transfusion therapy and complications in sickle cell disease patients undergoing surgery.

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College of Medicine and Medical Science, AGU, Bahrain.



Perioperative blood transfusion is usually given to sickle cell disease patients to reduce or prevent perioperative morbidity. Assessment of such a practice was the subject of our study.


A retrospective one year survey of sickle cell disease patients undergoing surgery at Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain was conducted. The medical records were reviewed to characterize the surgical procedure, transfusion management and perioperative complications.


85 sickle cell disease patients who underwent surgery were studied. Preoperatively, 21.2% had exchange transfusion (ETX), 24.7% had simple transfusions (STX) and 54.1% had no transfusion (NTX). 14.1% of all patients had postoperative complications, and 50% of those, had complications from the laparoscopic cholecystectomy group. The incidence of sickle cell crisis postoperatively was 22.2% in ETX group, 9.5% in STX group and 4.34% in the NTX group. The incidence of acute chest syndrome postoperatively was found to be 5.55% in the ETX group, 4.76% in the STX group and 4.34% in the NTX group. No intraoperative complications were recorded in all groups. All patients who had postoperative complications had a preoperative HBSS > 40%.


Exchange transfusion does not prevent perioperative complications of sickle cell disease patients. HBSS > 40% carries a higher risk of postoperative complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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