Sickle cell disease (SCD) patients require urgent red cell exchange (RCE) procedures for acute chest syndrome (ACS), demanding a coordinated effort of multiple clinical services. Execution of RCE is a multistep process from the time the procedure is requested to the time the procedure is initiated. A retrospective review of patients with SCD requiring urgent RCE for ACS and stroke from 2012 to 2017 was performed at a centralized hemapheresis service covering a multihospital healthcare system. A total of 30 urgent RCE procedures performed on 28 patients were evaluated. The time required for red blood cell (RBC) preparation was the longest step in the process (median 3.8 hours). Furthermore, RBC preparation time was longer for sickle cell patients with RBC alloimmunization compared with nonalloimmunized patients (8.6 vs 3.8 hours, P = .03). One mortality event occurred in Ab- group. This study identified potentially modifiable factors, which impact the time to implementation of RCE in one service area. It highlights the importance of a structured and coordinated approach for the efficient and timely delivery of this vital treatment modality.
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