Sickle cell disease is a heredity blood disorder that is characterized by abnormal shape of red blood cells which are sickle in shape. Because of its shape, it results in many complications.
In the past, sickle cell patients could only live up to 42 and 48years in males and females respectively. But now, they can live more than 70years because of improvement in the health sector.
SICKLE CELL CRISIS:
It may result in anemia like aplastic (failure to produce enough RBCs), hemolytic (rupturing of too many RBCs), vaso- occlusive (obstruction of capillaries).
Other infections, dehydration and acidosis trigger sickle cell diseases.
Sickle cell anemia can lead to:
Overwhelming post (auto) splenectomy infection (OPSI)
Osteomyelitis (bacterial bone infection)
Acute papillary necrosis
Chronic renal failure
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS in children:
- Yellow eyes, mouth and other body parts.
- Frequent swelling of hands and feet.
- Frequent shortage of blood.
- Enlargement of the abdomen (tummy).
- Children easily get malaria, pneumonia and other infections.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR SICKLE CELL CHILD:
- Give breastmilk only to the child for the first six months and give additional foods with breastmilk for at least two years.
- Protect from cold and do not give cold foods.
- Let him sleep under treated mosquito net.
- Give child daily folic acid and other medications prescribed.
- Do not give iron tablet or syrup unless prescribed.
- Give child a lot of fluid to drink.
- Always use warm water to bath the child.
NOTE: Any adult sickle cell patient should observe same as mentioned above apart from breastfeeding.
Try to also visit hospital regularly for checkup and if possible seek treatment for any of the causes before a crisis.