oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - Anaesthesia for a patient with B-thalassaemia : research

Volume 21, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2220-1181
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1173



Β-Thalassaemia is a rare hereditary disease caused by partial or complete deficiency of β-haemoglobin chain synthesis. There is a lot of literature regarding anaesthetic management in other haemoglobinopathies (i.e. sickle cell disease), especially in the paediatric population, but there is scarce information regarding β-thalassaemia major in adults. With current medical management, β-thalassaemia major patients survive to adulthood and may present for a variety of surgical procedures, even unrelated to their disease process. It is important for the anaesthetist to be familiar with the pathophysiology of β-thalassaemia major and how the disease itself and its treatment or complications (iron deposition from multiple transfusions) can affect anaesthesia. A case of a 51-year-old woman with severe β-thalassaemia undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy is presented. The anaesthetic management and systematic review of the perioperative concerns in severe β-thalassaemia are discussed.

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