ARE PATIENTS WITH HEMOGLOBINOPATHIES, THALASSEMIA AND SICKLE CELL DISEASE MORE VULNERABLE TO COVID-19 INFECTION?

Edited by:   G.L. Forni - M.D. Cappelini - A. Maggio - A. Piga

At the moment there is no literature on the subject, therefore the indications that can be given derive from the experience gained with previous Coronaviruses and lung infections and which we summarize below:

Like the general population, the presence of comorbidities such as diabetes, heart disease, pulmonary hypertension, reduced kidney and / or liver function, worsen the effects of the infection.

Sickle cell syndromes
Acute pulmonary syndrome (ACS) is the main cause of morbidity in these forms and is often triggered by infectious events. Measures to prevent and treat ACS early in the event of viral infection must therefore be applied.

Splenectomy
Splenectomized patients, or in the case of sickle cell syndromes with functional hyposplenism, are more vulnerable to bacterial infections. In splenectomized subjects, viral infection itself does not represent a risk, however it is important to prevent and / or treat any bacterial superinfections. In the case of sepsis, particularly in older thalassemia patients, the coexistence of an adrenal hypofunction that may require glucocorticoid administration should be considered.

Blood transfusion
There is no evidence that viruses of the Corona-19 virus class can be transmitted through donated blood.

Precautionary measures
All general recommendations on reducing the risk of Coronavirus infection are valid for hemoglobinopathies. For this, please refer to the measures disclosed and updated by the competent authorities.

Even in the absence of urgency, transfusion therapy has the characteristics of life-saving and not procastinable therapy except for short periods. In the event of a major deficiency, the Hemoglobinopathy Treatment Centers are called upon to make an important commitment to minimize the negative effects of alterations of the prescribed individual transfusion protocol. The best functional interaction with your Transfusion Center is desirable

We ask you to report any organizational problems that may adversely affect the functionality of the Center.

 
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