What is an emergency?

If you have any of the symptoms listed below or are very unwell and need to be seen straight away, you should (call your haematology team if it is within 9-5 hours) and/or go immediately to A&E:

  • fever – a temperature of 38oC or above, chills – especially if you have a central line (picc, Hickman or PortaCath)
  • diarrhoea or vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • feeling very unwell
  • palpitations
  • new weakness

 Where to go in an emergency

  • If you have a non-urgent medical problem or a medical problem unrelated to your thalassaemia e.g., a rash, a twisted ankle then it is appropriate for you to see your GP or go to your local A&E. We always advice on keeping a copy your last clinic letter with you either by taking a picture and keeping it on your mobile phone or with you in person if you are able to. This will help the team to find the right treatment solution or find the information to contact us.
  • If you have a non-urgent problem related to your thalassaemia, then you can ask for your outpatient appointment to be brought forward. Your haematology team can help with this.
  • If you are unwell then you should call the CNS or out of hours red cell registrar via the hospital switchboard for advice. This may be to attend the day care unit, see your GP, go to A&E or bring forward your clinic appointment.
  • Note: if you have an infectious illness e.g., diarrhoea (runny poo), vomiting, chicken pox etc. do not visit the clinic or the day care unit directly. Please contact the CNS or red cell registrar who will make arrangements for you to be reviewed elsewhere.

To access UKTS Standards of Care for a more in-dept look at complications here:

A copy of the Thalassaemia International’s Federation booklet on emergencies here: