As for the general population, the presence of co-morbidities such as diabetes, heart disease, pulmonary hypertension, reduced kidney and / or liver function, worsen the effects of the COVID-19 infection in patients affected by red blood cell disorders (RBCDs), especially sickle cell disease (SCD) and Thalassaemia patients. However, this group of patients affected by a chronic life threating disorder that become multi-organic over the time are likely to be at increased risk of complications from COVID-19.
Most of patients affected by RBCDs undergo splenectomy as therapeutic option to improve their level of haemoglobin concentration. Splenectomized patients, or in the case of SCD with functional hyposplenism, are more vulnerable to bacterial infections / superinfections after viral infection. Acute pulmonary syndrome (ACS) is the main cause of morbidity in SCD and is often triggered by infectious events.
Currently, there is no literature on the subject. Thus, any recommendation available comes from the experience gained with previous Coronaviruses infections. Accordingly, the correct treatment and management of infection by COVID-19 in patients affected by RBCDs may be challenging given the rapid spread of the pandemia and limited literature so far, especially in some countries.
ERN-EuroBloodNet has established a European collaborative platform to share clinical information in a collaborative way aiming to
The network of hospitals that will be created from this registry will hold regular meetings to analyze the data that are being introduced and to discuss possible measures against COVID-19 based on them. The collaboration will continue with the development of observational studies that will give the necessary evidence to make recommendations for COVID-19 management in hematological patients.