Packed Red Blood Cell Transfusion as a Potential Treatment Option in COVID-19 Patients With Hypoxemic Respiratory Failure: A Case Report

Link to article at PubMed

Ejigu T, et al. Cureus 2020.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an ongoing pandemic that started as an outbreak in China. The clinical picture varies from asymptomatic or mild cases to critically ill patients. Most of the critically ill patients present with hypoxia due to acute respiratory distress syndrome. These patients have a poor prognosis, especially in people with underlying co-morbidities. We present a case report of a 78-year-old male with multiple co-morbidities initially presenting with cardiac arrest and COVID-19 who showed drastic clinical improvement after he was administered a packed red blood cell transfusion. The patient was initially intubated for acute respiratory failure but was extubated on the second day as the patient's respiratory status improved. Although this patient had multiple comorbidities, he did extremely well after he received a packed red blood cell transfusion. Recently, there is some evidence showing the effect of the novel coronavirus on hemoglobin levels. Poor clinical outcomes of critically ill patients are most likely due to the impaired gaseous exchange in the lungs in addition to the decreased oxygen-carrying capacity caused by the destruction of red blood cells. Currently, there is limited evidence available in this area and further research may help in developing effective treatment strategies.

PMID:32637278 | PMC:PMC7331927 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.8398

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