Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

General anaesthesia in sickle-cell disease.

Br Med J 1979; 1 doi: (Published 16 June 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;1:1599
  1. J Homi,
  2. J Reynolds,
  3. A Skinner,
  4. W Hanna,
  5. G Serjeant


    General anaesthesia was administered on 284 occasions to 200 patients with sickle-cell disease at one hospital during July 1958 to June 1978. No intraoperative but six postoperative deaths occurred. The management of anaesthesia may have contributed to two of the postoperative deaths. Clinically uneventful anaesthesia did not appear to provoke severe sickling crises or to be responsible for mortality, but a contribution to postoperative morbidity could not be excluded. A simple, careful anaesthetic technique and selective but not routine blood transfusion appears to be associated with minimal anaesthetic morbidity and mortality in patients with sickle-cell disease.