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25 June 2013

Blood transfusions may lead to fewer strokes

A new study suggests that an increase in blood transfusions for patients with sickle cell disease may have caused a drop in the number of black children suffering from ischemic strokes.

A new study suggests that an increase in blood transfusions for patients with sickle cell disease may have caused a drop in the number of black children suffering from ischemic strokes - attacks brought about by a blockage in an artery.

Sickle cell disease gets its name from the shape of the red blood cells in someone who has it. They're crescent-shaped, similar to a farm tool called a sickle. These abnormally shaped red blood cells become hard and sticky and can clog the blood vessels, creating pain, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Black children more susceptible

"The excess risk of death from ischemic, but not haemorrhagic, stroke in US black children has decreased over the past decade," the study authors wrote. "The only major change in childhood stroke care during this period was the initiation of long-term blood transfusion therapy for primary stroke prevention in sickle cell disease."

The Nemours Foundation has more about strokes and children.

 
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