What Is The Treatment Of Sickle Cell Anemia ?

What Is The Treatment Of Sickle Cell Anemia ?

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder. The red blood cell is defective. The normal red blood cell is round in shape and moves through the tiny blood vessels without any difficulty and is able to carry oxygen to all parts of the body.

In sickle cell disease, the red blood cell becomes hard and sticky and it looks like a C-shaped sickle.

Sickle cell has a short life span of only 16 days while the normal red blood cell lives for 120 days. As the body is unable to replenish the blood cells when the sickle cells keep dying, this creates a shortage of red blood cells and the associated anemia. The sickle cells experience difficulties in traveling through narrow blood cells and get stuck and this affects the blood flow. The tissues and organs located in the affected area of the body do not get blood supply and oxygen necessary for their normal functioning.

There is no cure for this condition other than bone marrow transplant and it may not be possible in all cases. Others have to undergo treatment for their acute conditions as and when they are needed. Following is the line of treatment that is followed.

Hand foot syndrome -- There is swelling in the hands and feet along with fever. Pain medicines and fluids such as water are given for treatment.

Pain crisis -- The pains can be both mild as well as sever. Pain medicine is used for this treatment.

Anemia -- Blood transfusion is used in case of sever anemia.

Infection -- Infections are treated with antibiotic medicines and sometimes with blood transfusion. Early treatment can prevent complications.

Acute chest syndrome -- This includes chest pain, coughing, breathing difficulty, and fever. Treatment can include oxygen, medicine for infection and blood transfusion.

Splenic sequestration -- Sudden weakness, fast breathing, extreme thirst, and fast heart beat. Blood transfusion is normally given in such cases.  

Leg ulcers -- Medicated creams are used for treatment.

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