author describes sickle cell disease (SCD) as a genetic condition, which is
inherited when a child receives two sickle cell genes – one from each parent.
Sickle cell occurs when the red blood cells are rigid and sickle-shaped, which
causes them to stick together and block oxygen to the body. A large number of
infants are born with SCD annually; today every newborn is screened for the
sickle cell gene. In this article, the author covers the following topics pain,
acute chest syndrome (ACS), infection, stroke, and available treatment options.
Fisher mentions that adults and children with SCD must be continuously checked
for pain with the use of the appropriate pain scale. There are several natural
pain treatment approaches such as acupuncture, physical therapy, massage,
hydration, behavior modification, deep breathing, imagery, and distraction.
Medicated treatment includes administration of IV fluids, opioids or
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and oxygen if hypoxia is present.
of the SCD related conditions is Acute Chest Syndrome (ACD), it is a fast
deterioration in respiratory function, and is caused by vaso-occlusion in the
vessels of the lungs. Due to severe pain and using heavy narcotics, there is a
large possibility for the decreased respiratory effort, which may lead to ACD.
Those with ACD are recommended to use an incentive spirometer to promote deep
breathing, and blowing efforts for younger ages. ACD still remains the most
common cause of death amongst young adults.
it is one of the major conditions that cause death in SCD patients called
Streptococcus preumoniae sepsis. The patients who experience fever should be
treated as an emergency and require intervention as soon as possible, including
blood cultures, complete blood count, chest radiographs, IV fluids, and IV
author describes Transcranial Doppler as one the greatest imagining tools to
determine whether a child with SCD is at risk of a stroke. This tool is used
regularly and is only to be used for children. If the stroke is suspected, the
patient must be stabilized to prevent possible or further brain damage, and an
exchange transfusion should be performed right away.
talks about available therapy Hydroxyurea, it is a chemotherapeutic agent that
has been shown to decrease vaso-occlusive episodes and incidence of ACS as well
as results in less need for blood transfusion.
hear quiet often of the bone-marrow transplant, unfortunately it is rarely
used; due to the high death rate from complications in children who receive a
bone marrow transplant. Finding a match through the Bone Marrow Registry is
extremely difficult as well.
conclusion, sickle cell disease patients must be continuously checked for pain,
fever, and any infections. There are several treatments available including
natural approached to many of the SCD conditions.