Symptoms of sickle cell disease may be noticed as soon as four months of age, or it may go undetected until later in the baby’s first year of life.
When the misshapen red blood cells of sickle cell anemia block blood vessels, oxygen deprivation results. Periods of acute oxygen deprivation cause severely painful episodes called “pain crises.” The location of the pain and the types of symptoms depend on what tissues or organs of the body have been deprived of oxygen.
Symptoms of sickle cell disease include:
Other medical conditions that can result from sickle cell disease include:
Sickle cell crisis and other symptoms can occur episodically and spontaneously, or can be provoked by certain triggers, including:
Cecil Textbook of Medicine . 22nd ed. W.B. Saunders Company; 2003.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ .
Sickle Cell Disease Association of America website. Available at: http://www.sicklecelldisease.org/ .
Weiner CM. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine . 17th ed. New York, NY: McGraw – Hill; 2008.
Last reviewed October 2012 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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