We already know that sickle cell patients suffer from painful crisis from time to time but did you know that they actually suffer through different kinds of crises?
In general there are 6 types but only 4 are recognized in sickle cell anemia. They are:
1. Aplastic Crisis: This refers to a significant change in the blood picture characterized by a fall in hemoglobin level beyond the steady state level.
2. Acute Sequestration Crisis: This refers to a significant change in the blood picture characterized by a fall in hemoglobin level and accompanied by a rapidly enlarging spleen or liver.
3. Hyper Haemolytic Crisis: With this kind of crisis there is associated jaundice and a high number of immature red blood cells which happens as a result of being prematurely released from the bone marrow during blood formation.
4. Vaso-occlusive Crisis: is the most common clinical manifestation of SCD and it occurs when microcirculation is obstructed by sickled red blood cells causing ischemic injury ( an initial restriction of blood supply) to an organ and resultant pain.
The other two are lung and abdominal crises.
Any of these crises could be severe enough to cause death if medical attention is not immediately sought. The battle with sickle cell is always an arduous one for patients and their families, therefore continued support in efforts towards better forms of treatment and more alternatives for a cure is needed and encouraged.
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