Why did ICTMG develop a guideline for hemoglobinopathies?
Red blood cell transfusions are a life-sustaining therapy for patients with β-thalassemia or sickle cell disease, but having multiple transfusions puts them at high risk for alloimmunization. Alloimmunization is a well-documented complication of transfusion that increases the risk of delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions, complicates crossmatching and identifying compatible units, and delays provision of transfusions.
ICTMG's recommendations can help ensure these transfusion patients receive the red cell blood product that is optimal for them. The guideline is intended for transfusion medicine physicians as well as physicians intending to transfuse patients with hemoglobinopathies and apply to patients who require chronic or isolated red blood cell transfusion.