What are the British Committee for Standards in Haematology recommendations for blood transfusions to treat aplastic anemia?

Updated: Jan 29, 2021
  • Author: Sameer Bakhshi, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Patients with aplastic anemia require transfusion support until the diagnosis is established and specific therapy can be instituted. The British Committee for Standards in Haematology recommends prophylactic transfusions in patients whose platelet counts fall below 10 × 109/L (or < 20 × 109/L if bleeding or febrile). [5] However, it is important that transfusions be guided by the patient’s clinical status and not by numbers alone. Avoiding transfusions from family members is important because of possible sensitization against non-HLA (human leukocyte antigen) tissue antigens of potential donors.

For patients in whom hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) may be attempted, transfusions should be used judiciously because minimally transfused subjects have achieved superior therapeutic outcomes.

If using blood-bank support, attempt to minimize the risk of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. The blood products should, if possible, undergo leukocyte reduction to prevent alloimmunization and CMV transmission and should be irradiated to prevent transfusion-associated graft versus host disease (GVHD) in HCT candidates.

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