Published: 2017-05-23

Manual RBC exchange transfusion in a patient of sickle-beta thalassemia syndrome presenting in crisis: a case report

Girija Nandini Kanungo, Bibudhendu Pati, Hemlata Das, Suman Sudha Routray


Sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia are caused by abnormal haemoglobin (Hb) derived from mutation of the HBB gene encoding beta-globin. Compound heterozygous status for both mutations results in HbS/beta thalassemia (Sickle- beta thalassemia). Vaso-occlusive phenomena and haemolysis are the clinical hallmarks and major causes of mortality. Here we report a case of successful reduction of HbS level by manual RBC exchange transfusion. Capillary zone electrophoresis showed the case to be Sickle-beta thalassemia. A total of   3 units of 450ml whole blood units were used for manual exchange transfusion done in 2 sittings on consecutive days. Preexchange HbS level was 80.9% of total Hb. HbS level after 24 hours of the second procedure was 44%. In the absence of facility to conduct automated RBC exchange by a cell separator, to reduce HbS in patients presenting with acute complications of SCD and in patients with Vaso-occlusive Crisis, previous stroke, manual RBC exchange can provide a better relief.


Exchange transfusion, Manual red cell exchange, Sickle cell anaemia

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