The use of blood transfusions for stroke prevention in children with sickle cell anemia has become a standard of care. The goal is to keep the level of Hb S under 30%. Transfusions are not normally needed for SCD unless patients develop a sudden worsening of anemia due to splenic sequestration or infection.
Of concern is the occurrence of iron overload. Iron chelators are helpful in the management of iron overload and include desferrioxamine and deferasirox.
Transfusing phenotypically-matched blood (especially C, E, and K) is highly recommended to prevent alloimmunization.