Sickle cell disease and thalassemia are the most common clinically significant hemoglobinopathies worldwide. Carriers of these disorders represent approximately 5.0% of the world's population. Blood transfusion is associated with risks such as allergic or hemolytic reactions, alloimmunization, and iron overload. Reduction in morbidity and mortality is highly dependent on safe and optimal transfusion practices. Many patients reside in Low- and Middle- Income Countries (LMICs) that have scarce resources and fragmented transfusion services that are highly dependent on replacement donations. The fragile blood supply system makes it very challenging for the blood banks in these countries to have access to regular and safe blood supply.

About the Subgroup 

The hemoglobinopathy subgroup of the ISBT Clinical Transfusion Working Party is an international group of professionals with interest in promoting for best transfusion practices in patients with hemoglobinopathies. The subgroup include pediatricians, pediatric hemato-oncologists, blood transfusion specialists, among other specialists. 

The subgroup’s objectives are

  1. Promoting for safe transfusion support for patients with hemoglobinopathies
  2. Create a collaborative network of experts for sharing educational resources in the transfusion management of patients with hemoglobinopathies 
  3. Increasing public awareness about prevention and early diagnosis of hemoglobinopathies.
  4. Increasing public awareness through social media about transfusion support of patients with hemoglobinopathies and its complications 


Subgroup activities

We hold virtual meetings quarterly and meet in person at the international and regional conferences a minimum of once a year.

Educational resources

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Resources for policy and guidelines for transfusion management in hemoglobinopathies