Exchange Transfusion Therapy

Also known as: transfusion therapy.

What is exchange transfusion therapy?

Exchange transfusion therapy is a form of blood transfusion in which the body’s blood is removed and replaced. It’s used as a procedure to treat serious symptoms related to sickle cell disease. When it comes to treating pain related to sickle cell disease, exchange transfusion therapy has been used in attempts to alleviate bouts of severe, intractable pain with better effect, overall.

What happens during the procedure?

Several thin tubes, called catheters, are placed into a blood vessel. In short cycles, a small amount of blood is removed from the body and replaced with fresh blood. This process is repeated until the proper amount of blood in the body has been replaced.

Is any special preparation needed?

Blood testing is required to determine the patient’s blood type. This way, compatible blood can be used for the transfusion.

What are the risk factors?

Infection, bleeding, bruising, blood clots, heart and lung problems and shock are all potential risk factors related to exchange transfusion therapy.


Reviewed by: Athena C Pefkarou, MD

This page was last updated on: April 06, 2021 10:19 AM

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