Vox Sang. 2021 Jun 8. doi: 10.1111/vox.13123. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Shortage of blood during the severe acute respiratory syndrome-COV-2 (SARs-COV-2) pandemic impacted transfusion practice. The primary aim of the study is to assess management of acute haemolytic crisis (AHC) in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase(G6PD)- deficient children during SARs-COV-2 pandemic, and then to assess blood donation situation and the role of telemedicine in management.
METHODS: Assessment of G6PD-deficient children attending the Emergency Department (ER) with AHC from 1 March 2020 for 5 months in comparison to same period in the previous 2 years, in three paediatric haematology centres. AHC cases presenting with infection were tested for SARs-COV-2 using RT-PCR. Children with Hb (50-65 g/L) and who were not transfused, were followed up using telemedicine with Hb re-checked in 24 h.
RESULTS: A 45% drop in ER visits due to G6PD deficiency-related AHC during SARs-COV-2 pandemic in comparison to the previous 2 years was observed. 10% of patients presented with fever and all tested negative for COVID-19 by RT-PCR. 33% of patients had Hb < 50 g/L and were all transfused. 50% had Hb between 50 and 65 g/L, half of them (n = 49) did not receive transfusion and only two patients (4%) required transfusion upon follow up. A restrictive transfusion strategy was adopted and one of the reasons was a 39% drop in blood donation in participating centres.
CONCLUSION: Fewer G6PD-deficient children with AHC visited the ER during SARs-COV-2 and most tolerated lower Hb levels. Telemedicine was an efficient tool to support their families. A restrictive transfusion strategy was clear in this study.