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 can be provoked by certain triggers, including:
Owusu-Ofori S, Riddington C. Splenectomy versus conservative management for acute sequestration crises in people with sickle cell disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev . 2002;(4):CD003425.
Sickle cell disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated June 6, 2013. Accessed July 1, 2013.
Sickle cell disease. Nemours' KidsHealth.org website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/heart/sickle_cell_anemia.html . Updated September 2012. Accessed July 1, 2013.
Sickle cell disease (SCD). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/index.html . Updated September 27, 2012. Accessed July 1, 2013.
What is sickle cell anemia? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sca/ . Updated September 28, 2012. Accessed July 1, 2013.
Last reviewed July 2013 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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