Sickle Cell Anemia Treatment
Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disease that passed down through families. Normal red blood cells have shapes like disc but in this disease the red blood cells turn into sickle or crescent shape. Red blood cells are needed to carry the oxygen to body. Red blood cells have protein inside it called the hemoglobin. When the hemoglobin becomes abnormal, it turned to be hemoglobin S which is the cause of sickle cell anemia.
The symptoms usually do not appear until the child reach the age of 4 and the painful episodes called the crises begin. The other symptoms may include fatigue, paleness, rapid heart rate, short breath, priapism, blindness, ulcers on lower legs, jaundice and etc. There are many sickle cell anemia treatments and we will discuss it one by one.
When a child diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, it is important for the child to be referred to a care team in the specialist sickle cell center which contains specialists units based in large hospitals. The members of this care team are the pediatrician, hematologist, clinical psychologist, pharmacist, physiotherapist, social worker and specialist nurses.
Make a Care Plan
The reasons why you need to make a care plan are to prevent the painful episodes, to provide an adequate pain reliever, to reduce the risk of serious complications, to treat the other symptoms and if the care at home isn’t adequate you must plan the urgent assessment at hospital to relief the symptoms.
Prevent the Episodes or the Crisis
The episodes can be reduced by drinking a lot of fluids. But if the efforts to reduce the episodes aren’t working, you can’t use the medication called hydroxycarbamide. This drugs was originally invented for chemotherapy medication but it turns out that hydroxycarbamide also stimulates the foetal hemoglobin (hemoglobin found in unborn babies) production because the foetal hemoglobin isn’t affected by the mutation of the sickle cell so the foetal hemoglobin could take over the adult hemoglobin role that will reduce the painful episodes or crisis.
The Pain Management
Despite the fact that the episodes are very painful and distressing for both the parent and the sick child but most of these episodes can be treated at home. To control the mild pain, paracetamol can be used. If it is not working, a stronger pain killer can be used which contain the combination of paracetamol and codein. Other than that there are also another ways to ease the pain such as ensure your child drink a lot of fluids and place the child in a warm bath, use suitable distraction such as reading stories and etc.
The other sickle cell anemia treatments that need to be done are reducing the risk of infection, reducing the risk of stroke, and chelation therapy. Well that’s the end of this article about sickle cell anemia treatments and I hope you’ll find this useful and could help you.
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