In Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) patients, one of the most critical treatments is a blood transfusion. A blood transfusion is used to provide normal red blood cells to the patient’s body. Red blood cell transfusions help lessen anemia and reduce the blood’s viscosity, allowing it to flow more freely, ease disease symptoms and prevent complications. Alloimmunization is common in patients with SCD and may complicate transfusion therapy. For many patients, a close blood type match is essential and is found in donors of the same race or similar ethnicity.
In this episode, learn why patient phenotyping and prophylactic matching to reduce alloimmunization is recommended for SCD patients and why donor source for blood donations of the same race or similar ethnicity is critical.
Dr. Stella T. Chou
Dr. Stella T. Chou is Chief of the Division of Transfusion Medicine, board-certified in Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine, and an attending physician in the Division of Hematology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Chou earned her medical degree from New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY. She specializes in caring for children with SCD, those who make antibodies against red blood cell transfusions (alloimmunization), and those requiring apheresis. Her research interests are focused on improving red blood cell matching for patients through the use of innovative tools.
Her work has demonstrated that inheritance of variant blood group antigens in patients with SCD contributes to their high rate of red blood cell antibody formation. Her ongoing work focuses on the genetic matching of red blood cells and creating customized induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with rare blood group antigen combinations as renewable sources of red blood cell reagents to improve antibody identification and donor red blood cell matching. For her innovative research, she is a recipient of the National Blood Foundation Hall of Fame award. Dr. Chou is a worldwide recognized author and speaker with over 100 publications and lectures. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Chou serves as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.