A consultation is currently running on guidance for using the Spectra Optia Apheresis System, technology which can be used for automated exchange transfusions. Some sickle cell patients require regular exchange transfusions to remove sickled blood and transfuse healthy blood.

NICE is currently producing guidelines on using the new technology, and we will be sending a response. We want to be sure that the voice of patients is represented in this consultation, although we appreciate it might be difficult for you to fill out an individual response after reading hundreds of pages of documents!

The Sickle Cell Society supports new technology for exchange transfusions, which are a life-saving treatment for people at risk of vaso-occlusive crisis. We would like to see such technology widely available across the country, and that networks are necessary to ensure access. We think this new technology would have a huge benefit for patients who need regular transfusions.

If you have regular transfusions, we’d like to hear your views. Please leave a comment below, or send it by email to zoe.williams@sicklecellsociety.org. We’ll use your comments to inform our own response to the consultation, and make sure your views are known. Please send us your comments by Friday 6th November.

So please, please get in touch with us if you have regular transfusions. Your feelings and experiences about new technologies are important.

If you’d rather contribute to the consultation independently, you can do so here.