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Sickle Cell Question

treasurel treasurel (New) New

Does anyone know if the RBCs from a blood tranfusion to sickle cell patients start sickling just like the patient's own RBC's once in the bloodstream?


Specializes in Medical Surgical/Addiction/Mental Health.

No they do not. As you know, red blood cells are made from bone marrow. Some red blood cells are fine while others have a cycle shape. The only cure is a bone marrow transplant. Only in extreme cases will a transfusion be performed.


Specializes in Medical Surgical/Addiction/Mental Health.

I failed to mention…it’s a hereditary disease. In other words, a person cannot get sickle cell from transfusions. Hence, the red blood cells from the transfusion do not become cyclic as it is a hereditary condition and not contagious.

Thank you soo much. I have read and read and I was pretty sure that they didn't but my instructor wanted me to find out..not even she knew the answer.


Has 1 years experience.

The life span of an RBC is about 80 to 120 days. The new blood doesn't sickle, the RBCs just die off and are absorbed. That's why transfusions aren't a permanent fix. The life cycle of a sickle cell RBC is much shorter - only 8 to 14 days. So new sickle RBCs are being produced at a faster rate and will eventually dominate over the normal RBCs from a transfusion. Replacing blood serves to fix severe anemia and decrease viscosity of the blood. However you want to keep someone with sickle cell disease anemic, with a Hgb of about 7-9 - trying to increase Hgb will just result in more sickle cells.


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