Summary of key recommendations
Antenatal screening/testing of pregnant women should be carried out according to the guidelines of the NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening programme.
Newborn screening and, when necessary, follow up testing and referral, should be carried out according to the guidelines of the NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening programme. All babies under 1 year of age arriving in the UK should be offered screening for sickle cell disease.
Preoperative screening for sickle cell disease should be carried out in patients from ethnic groups in which there is a significant prevalence of the condition. Emergency screening with sickle solubility tests must always be followed by definitive analysis.
Laboratories performing antenatal screening should utilize methods capable of detecting significant variants and be capable of quantitating haemoglobins A2 and F at the cut-off points required by the national antenatal screening programme.
The laboratory must ensure a provisional report is available within three working days from sample receipt
British Journal of Haematology, 149, 35–49, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2009.08054.x