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Statement on New ASH Clinical Practice Guidelines on Sickle Cell Disease-Related Transfusion Support

(WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2020) – Today, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) released new clinical practice guidelines on Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)-Related Transfusion Support. These guidelines are part of a series of five guidelines ASH is developing on SCD to provide updated treatment guidelines that reflect the newest evidence about the disease, ensuring the medical community can better treat SCD and people with SCD can make the best decisions for their care.

The guidelines published in the Society’s peer-reviewed journal Blood Advances. Three more chapters are in development. ASH previously published SCD-Related Cardiopulmonary and Kidney Disease Guidelines in December 2019.

“It is an incredibly exciting time with nearly limitless potential for helping treat people living with SCD. But, we know that people living with SCD often require blood transfusions to prevent or treat organ damage associated with the disease. The ASH guidelines took the latest evidence into account to make recommendations that will help physicians and caregivers standardize and advance their patients’ care and decrease side effects. We’ve also provided best-practices and tips for patients and caregivers to help inform conversations with their health care providers,” said Stella T. Chou, MD, Co-Chair, ASH Guidelines on SCD-Related Transfusion Support, and associate professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “ASH believes it is essential to provide updated treatment guidelines that reflect this increased knowledge and can help the medical community better treat SCD.”

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a rare inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells and occurs when a person has inherited a sickle cell gene from each parent. It is estimated to affect approximately 100,000 people in the U.S., and one out of every 365 African-American births.

In 2016, ASH initiated an effort to develop clinical practice guidelines on SCD. ASH appointed 61 clinical experts, five methodologists and 10 patient representatives to review evidence and form recommendations on SCD. The recommendations address treatment of both adult and pediatric SCD. The systematic review of evidence was led by the Mayo Clinic Evidence-Based Practice Center.

To learn more about the specific guidelines recommendations (12 total), and find additional resources, visit www.hematology.org/SCDGuidelines.

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (www.hematology.org) is the world’s largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For more than 60 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. ASH publishes Blood  (www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online, as well as the newly launched, online, peer-reviewed open-access journal, Blood Advances (www.bloodadvances.org).

Andrea Fischer, [email protected], 202-823-4884