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Sickle Cell Disease And Its Anemic Crisis

Anemia is the common crisis that is associated with sickle cell disease, because with sickle cell diseases the red blood cells die early.

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Photo Credit: Osmosis

Sickle cell anemia (SCA) or Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a disorder with an anemic crisis that occurs repetitively and frequently with differences in each severity. Normal red blood cells live up to 120 days before replacement, but sickle-shaped red blood cells take 10 to 15 days and they die, causing a shortage in red blood cells called anemia. 

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Photo Credit: Osmosis

With this comes irritability, fast heart rate, difficulty in breathing, slow growth, pale skin color, tiredness, lightheadedness, dizziness, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the eye). There are several aspects of anemic crisis common amongst sickle cell patients; they include aplastic crises, vaso-occlusive crises. 


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Photo Credit: Practical Pain Management

There is a state in sickle cell anemia that the patient is free of infection, pain or any other processes, this is called the steady-state. Aplastic Crisis is a noticeable or significant change in the blood that is characterized by the drop in the level of hemoglobin and a reduced presence of reticulocytes in the peripheral blood. 

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Photo Credit: Modern Ghana

The total white blood cell might either be affected or not. In the aplastic crisis, there is a temporary suspending of the precursor cells of the red blood cell usually by a viral infection; whereby the body is incapable of producing new red blood cells to replace the dead ones or previously existing ones. The immune system starts attacking the stem cells in the bone marrow of patients. There is also the presence of Parvovirus B19 that occurs in patients with red blood cell disorders. 

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Photo Credit: Newswise

A vaso-occlusive crisis is a painful crisis that happens suddenly and lasting for 5 – 6 days at most. The pain is associated with the bone marrow also called ISCHEMIA, when microcirculation is obstructed by sickled red blood cells. They are triggered by dehydration and extremely cold weather conditions. 

Content created and supplied by: Dr-Kikiope (via Opera News )

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