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Sickle cell disease: OverviewSSickle cell disease: OverviewSickle cell disease: OverviewEnglishHaematologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BodyCardiovascular systemConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2024-01-31T05:00:00Z8.8000000000000058.50000000000001266.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>An easy-to-understand overview of sickle cell disease for parents.</p><h2>What is sickle cell disease (SCD)?</h2><p>Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited blood disorders that stop blood flowing normally in the body. <br></p><p>Hemoglobin is the main ingredient in red blood cells. Its job is to help the blood carry oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. There are different types of hemoglobin, including hemoglobin A (normal hemoglobin) and hemoglobin C and S (abnormal types of hemoglobin.</p><p>Normal red blood cells have mostly hemoglobin A, which helps keep them soft and round so they flow easily through small blood vessels. People with sickle cell disease, however, have mostly hemoglobin S (also called sickle hemoglobin). Hemoglobin S can form hard fibres inside the red blood cells, causing them to reshape into sickle (banana) shapes. When red blood cells are curved like this, they cannot move through blood vessels easily. Sometimes they even get stuck and are unable to deliver oxygen to some body tissues.</p> <figure class="asset-c-80"> <span class="asset-image-title">Sickle cell shape</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/Sickle_cell_comparison_MED_ILL_EN.jpg" alt="A red blood cell with normal hemoglobin molecules and a sickled red blood cell with abnormal hemoglobin molecules" /> <figcaption class="asset-image-caption">Red blood cells carry a protein called hemoglobin, which brings oxygen to all the parts of the body. People with sickle cell disease carry sickle-shaped hemoglobin cells that tend to get stuck in the smaller blood vessels.</figcaption> </figure><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder.</li><li>The two main characteristics of SCD are long-standing anemia and recurrent episodes of vaso-occlusion.</li><li>Anemia is a result of increased breakdown of red blood cells. Children may appear pale and have yellow eyes from time to time.</li><li>Vaso-occlusive episodes are caused by blockages of the blood vessels by deformed red blood cells.</li><li>Infection, fatigue and dehydration are possible triggers for a pain episode.</li><li>Do not use ice packs to treat pain.</li></ul><h2>Signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease</h2><p>The two main characteristics of SCD are a long-standing <a href="/Article?contentid=841&language=English">anemia</a> and recurrent episodes of vaso-occlusion:</p><ul><li><p> <strong>Anemia</strong> is caused by a lack of either hemoglobin or red blood cells in the body. When this happens, not enough oxygen gets delivered to the body. This can cause paleness, tiredness or fatigue, and weakness. For example, your child may become tired sooner than their peers when doing an activity. Your child may also have a hard time concentrating.</p><p>Sickle-shaped cells do not live as long as regular red blood cells. They die faster, resulting in an increased breakdown of red blood cells. The liver sometimes cannot keep up with filtering all the broken-down cells, and the bilirubin from the broken-down cells can build up in the system, making the whites of the eyes appear yellow from time to time.</p></li></ul> <figure class="asset-c-80"> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/iCanCopeSCD/anemia_sickle_cell_disease_EN.png" alt="Red blood cells with normal hemoglobin carry enough oxygen—sickled red blood cells with abnormal hemoglobin carry less oxygen" /> </figure> <ul><li> <strong>Vaso-occlusive episodes</strong> are blockages of the blood vessels anywhere in the body caused by deformed red blood cells. Sickle-shaped red blood cells cannot flow through the body as well as regular red blood cells and tend to clump together. This leads to blockages and a lack of oxygen in the affected area of the body. Symptoms depend on where the blood vessels are blocked. If the blood vessel going to a leg bone is blocked, then there will be pain in the leg. If a blood vessel going to the brain is blocked, then there will be symptoms of a stroke, such as weakness on one side of the body.</li></ul> <figure class="asset-c-80"><span class="asset-image-title">Vaso-occlusion in sickle cell disease</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/Sickle_cell_vaso_occlusion_MED_ILL_EN.png" alt="Normal blood flow with healthy red blood cells compared to blocked blood flow from sickled red blood cells" /> <figcaption class="asset-image-caption">Healthy red blood cells are soft, round and flexible. Sickled red blood cells are sticky and hard and can block blood flow.</figcaption> </figure> <p>Other <a href="/article?contentid=2259&language=english">complications in children with sickle cell disease</a> include acute chest syndrome, infection and enlarged spleen (splenic sequestration).</p><h3>Pain episodes</h3><p>The most common symptom of a vaso-occlusive episode is bone pain. Any bone can be affected, including the arms, legs, back and skull. These episodes, commonly called pain crises, are unpredictable. Some children feel unwell before the actual onset of pain and can let an adult know.</p><p>Possible triggers for pain episodes include:</p><ul><li>infection</li><li>stress/fatigue</li><li>dehydration</li><li>exposure to cold and very hot temperatures</li></ul><p>Some pain episodes happen without a known reason.</p><h3>Preventing pain episodes</h3><p>You can help prevent a pain episode by:</p><ul><li>Giving your child lots of fluids to drink so they are not thirsty.</li><li>Dressing your child in a few layers of warm clothing in the winter when they are leaving home.</li><li>Sending an extra sweatshirt and socks to school with your child in case they become wet during recess or at any other time.</li><li>Recognizing fever as a sign of infection and having your child seen immediately by a health-care provider.</li><li>Making sure your child avoids vigorous exercise without the ability to take breaks and drink fluids, especially during hot days.</li></ul><p>Even with these measures, though, children may still have a pain episode.</p><h2>How does someone get sickle cell disease?</h2><p>SCD is always inherited (passed down in families). It is not contagious: you cannot spread it like a cold, and you cannot catch it from someone else.</p><h2>How common is sickle cell disease?</h2><p>SCD is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States and Canada. It is more common in people with an African or Caribbean background, but children of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and South Asian ancestry are also affected.</p><h2>Treatment</h2><p>See <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=4127&language=English">Sickle cell disease: What to do if your child is unwell</a> to understand how to help your child if they are not feeling well. Find information about:</p><ul><li>Temperature</li><li>Pain assessment</li><li>Pain management</li><ul><li>Medications</li><li>Physical strategies</li><li>Psychological strategies</li></ul></ul><p>With SCD, the spleen function is not as good at destroying the cell coating of some bacteria. They should be receiving additional vaccinations to prevent infections caused by the pneumococcal and meningococcal bacteria. If your child is under the age of five, they should be on preventative antibiotics. The most commonly used preventative antibiotic is called <a href="/article?contentid=73&language=english">amoxicillin</a>.<br></p><p>Fever in a child with SCD is considered an emergency and requires prompt treatment with antibiotics. Fever is a sign of infection.</p><p>A thermometer must be available at home for assessing the temperature of your child if they are feeling unwell. A temperature higher than 38°C under the arm and higher than 38.5°C by mouth requires that they be seen promptly at an emergency department.</p><p>Medicines such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen will reduce fever but will not treat the infection that is causing the fever. Using them can lead to a false sense of security or to the fever not being taken seriously. These medicines should only be given to your child to reduce fever after an assessment by a health-care provider.<br></p><h2>Fluid requirements for children with sickle cell disease</h2><p>Children with SCD excrete higher volumes of urine compared with their peers because their kidneys cannot concentrate urine.</p><p>Correspondingly, when a child produces more urine than usual, they must also increase their fluid intake. This is particularly important in SCD, as dehydration can trigger pain episodes. When a child with SCD is dehydrated, blood cells also become dehydrated and change shape, causing blood vessel blockage and acute pain. Make sure your child has easy access to water at all times.<br></p><h2>Other treatments and medications for sickle cell disease</h2><p>Your child may receive sickle cell treatments in hospital to prevent complications and medications to target sickle cells, infections and pain. To learn more about these treatments, please see <a href="/article?contentid=2261&language=english">Sickle cell disease: Types of treatments and medications</a>.</p><h2>Special situations where parents should call 9-1-1</h2><p>If any of the following occurs, seek immediate medical attention or call 9-1-1 right away:</p><ul><li>difficulty breathing</li><li>loss of consciousness</li><li>severe headache</li><li>difficulty speaking or slurring of speech</li><li>weakness of limbs</li><li>seizure activity</li><li>fever greater than 39°C</li><li>unexplained lethargy/sleepiness</li><li>persistent vomiting</li><li>recognition of an enlarged spleen</li></ul>
Drépanocytose : présentation généraleDDrépanocytose : présentation généraleSickle cell disease: OverviewFrenchHaematologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BodyCardiovascular systemConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2024-01-31T05:00:00Z1338.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Un aperçu facile à comprendre de la drépanocytose pour les parents.</p><h2>Qu’est-ce que la drépanocytose?</h2><p>La drépanocytose regroupe plusieurs troubles sanguins héréditaires qui empêchent le sang de circuler normalement dans l’organisme.</p><p>L’hémoglobine est l’ingrédient principal dans les globules rouges. Son rôle est d’aider le sang à transporter l’oxygène des poumons vers les autres parties du corps. Il existe différents types d’hémoglobine, y compris l’hémoglobine A (hémoglobine normale) et l’hémoglobine C et S (types anormaux d’hémoglobine).</p><p>Les globules rouges normaux contiennent principalement de l’hémoglobine A, qui les rend souples et ronds et leur permet de circuler facilement dans les petits vaisseaux sanguins. Les personnes atteintes de drépanocytose, cependant, ont principalement l’hémoglobine S (également appelée drépanocytose). L’hémoglobine S peut former des fibres dures à l’intérieur des globules rouges, les faisant remodeler en forme de faucille (ou de banane). Lorsque les globules rouges sont courbés de cette manière, ils ne peuvent pas se déplacer facilement dans les vaisseaux sanguins. Parfois ils sont même coincés et sont incapables de fournir de l’oxygène à certains tissus de l’organisme.</p> <figure class="asset-c-80"> <span class="asset-image-title">Forme de drépanocytaire</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/sickle_cell_comparison_V2_FR.jpg" alt="Globule rouge normale avec hémaglobine A et globule rouge en forme de faucille avec hémoglobine S" /> <figcaption class="asset-image-caption">Les globules rouges transportent une protéine appelée hémoglobine, qui transporte de l’oxygène vers toutes les parties du corps. Les personnes atteintes de drépanocytose sont porteuses de cellules d’hémoglobine en forme de faucille qui ont tendance à se bloquer dans les petits vaisseaux sanguins.</figcaption> </figure><h2>À retenir</h2><ul><li>La drépanocytose est une maladie du sang héréditaire.</li><li>Les deux principales caractéristiques de la drépanocytose sont une anémie de longue durée et des épisodes récurrents de vaso-occlusion.</li><li>L’anémie est le résultat d’une dégradation accrue des globules rouges. Les enfants peuvent sembler pâles et avoir les yeux jaunes de temps en temps.</li><li>Les épisodes vaso-occlusifs sont causés par des blocages des vaisseaux sanguins par des globules rouges déformés.</li><li>Une infection, la fatigue et la déshydratation peuvent déclencher un épisode douloureux.</li><li>N’utilisez pas de poches de glace pour traiter la douleur.</li></ul><h2>Signes et symptômes de la drépanocytose</h2><p>Les deux principales caractéristiques de la drépanocytose sont une <a href="/article?contentid=841&language=french">anémie</a> longue durée et des épisodes récurrents de vaso-occlusion :</p><ul><li><p> <strong>L’anémie</strong> est causée par un manque d’hémoglobine ou de globules rouges dans l’organisme. Lorsque cela se produit, l’organisme ne reçoit pas suffisamment d’oxygène. Cela peut causer de la pâleur, de la fatigue et de la faiblesse. Par exemple, votre enfant peut se fatiguer plus tôt que ses camarades lorsqu’il pratique une activité. Votre enfant peut également avoir des difficultés à se concentrer.</p><p>Les cellules drépanocytaires ne vivent pas aussi longtemps que les globules rouges ordinaires. Elles meurent plus rapidement, ce qui entraîne une dégradation accrue des globules rouges. Le foie n’arrive parfois pas à filtrer toutes les cellules dégradées et la bilirubine qui en résulte peut s’accumuler dans le système, ce qui fait apparaître de temps en temps le blanc des yeux en jaune.</p></li></ul> <figure class="asset-c-80"> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/anemia_sickle_cell_disease_FR.jpg" alt="Globules rouges normaux transportent suffisamment d'oxygène lorsque les globules rouges malades transportent moins d'oxygène" /> </figure> <ul><li> <strong>Les épisodes vaso-occlusifs</strong> sont des blocages des vaisseaux sanguins pouvant survenir n’importe où dans le corps, causés par des globules rouges déformés. Les globules rouges drépanocytaires ne peuvent pas circuler dans l’organisme aussi bien que les globules rouges normaux et ont tendance à s’agglutiner. Cela entraîne des blocages et un manque d’oxygène dans la zone du corps concernée. Les symptômes dépendent de l’endroit où les vaisseaux sanguins sont bloqués. Si le vaisseau sanguin qui se rend à l’os de la jambe est bloqué, la douleur se fait sentir dans la jambe. Si un vaisseau sanguin allant au cerveau est bloqué, alors il y aura des symptômes relatifs à un accident vasculaire cérébral, comme une faiblesse d’un côté du corps.</li></ul> <figure class="asset-c-80"> <span class="asset-image-title">Vaso-occlusion drépanocytaire</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/sickle_cell_vaso_occlusion_V2_FR.jpg" alt="Flux sanguin normal avec globules rouges sains comparé aux globules malades bloquant la circulation sanguine" /> <figcaption class="asset-image-caption">Les globules rouges sains sont mous, ronds et flexibles. Les globules rouges malades sont collants et durs et peuvent bloquer la circulation sanguine.</figcaption> </figure> <p>D’autres <a href="/article?contentid=2259&language=french">complications chez les enfants atteints de drépanocytose</a> comprennent le syndrome thoracique aigu, l’infection et l’hypertrophie de la rate (séquestration splénique).</p><h3>Épisodes de douleur</h3><p>Le symptôme le plus courant d’un épisode vaso-occlusif est la douleur osseuse. N’importe quel os peut être affecté, y compris les bras, les jambes, le dos et le crâne. Ces épisodes, communément appelés crises de douleur, sont imprévisibles. Certains enfants se sentent mal avant l’apparition réelle de la douleur et peuvent en informer un adulte.</p><p>Les déclencheurs possibles des épisodes de douleur comprennent :</p><ul><li>infection;</li><li>stress/fatigue;</li><li>déshydratation;</li><li>exposition à des températures froides et très chaudes.</li></ul><p>Certains épisodes de douleur se produisent sans raison connue.</p><h3>Prévention des épisodes de douleur</h3><p>Vous pouvez aider à prévenir un épisode de douleur en suivant les conseils suivants :</p><ul><li>Faire boire beaucoup de liquides à votre enfant pour qu’il n’ait pas soif.</li><li>Habiller votre enfant de quelques couches de vêtements chauds en hiver lorsqu’il quitte la maison.</li><li>Prévoir un chandail et des chaussettes supplémentaires pour l’école à envoyer avec votre enfant au cas où il serait mouillé pendant la récréation ou à tout autre moment.</li><li>Reconnaître la fièvre comme un signe d’infection et faire voir votre enfant immédiatement par un fournisseur de soins de santé.</li><li>Veiller à ce que votre enfant évite les exercices vigoureux sans pouvoir faire de pauses et s’hydrater, en particulier lorsqu’il fait chaud.</li></ul><p>Même en suivant ces mesures, les enfants peuvent encore souffrir d’un épisode douloureux.</p><h2>Comment une personne contracte-t-elle la drépanocytose?</h2><p>La drépanocytose est toujours héréditaire (transmise dans les familles). Elle n’est pas contagieuse : vous ne pouvez pas la propager comme un rhume et vous ne pouvez pas l’attraper de quelqu’un d’autre.</p><h2>La drépanocytose est-elle courante?</h2><p>C’est le trouble sanguin héréditaire le plus courant aux États-Unis et au Canada. Elle est plus fréquente chez les personnes d’origine africaine ou caribéenne, mais les enfants d’origine moyen-orientale, méditerranéenne et sud-asiatique sont également touchés.</p><h2>Traitement</h2><p>Dans le cas de la drépanocytose, la rate ne parvient pas à détruire l’enveloppe cellulaire de certaines bactéries. Les personnes atteintes devraient recevoir des vaccins supplémentaires pour prévenir les infections causées par les bactéries pneumococciques et méningococciques. Si votre enfant a moins de cinq ans, il devrait prendre des antibiotiques préventifs. L’antibiotique préventif le plus couramment utilisé est appelé <a href="/article?contentid=73&language=french">amoxicilline</a>.</p><p>La fièvre chez un enfant atteint de drépanocytose est considérée comme une urgence et nécessite un traitement rapide aux antibiotiques. La fièvre est un signe d’infection.</p><p>Un thermomètre doit être disponible à la maison pour évaluer la température de votre enfant s’il ne se sent pas bien. Une température supérieure à 38 °C sous le bras et supérieure à 38,5 °C par la bouche nécessite une consultation rapide au service des urgences.</p><p>Des médicaments comme l’acétaminophène et l’ibuprofène réduiront la fièvre, mais ne traiteront pas l’infection qui cause la fièvre. Leur utilisation peut conduire à un faux sentiment de sécurité ou à ce que la fièvre ne soit pas prise au sérieux. Ces médicaments ne doivent être administrés à votre enfant pour faire baisser la fièvre qu’après avoir été évalués par un fournisseur de soins de santé.</p><h2>Besoins en liquides pour les enfants atteints de drépanocytose</h2><p>Les enfants atteints de drépanocytose excrètent des volumes d’urine plus élevés que leurs pairs parce que leurs reins ne peuvent pas concentrer l’urine.</p><p>En conséquence, lorsqu’un enfant produit plus d’urine que d’habitude, il doit également augmenter sa consommation de liquides. Ceci est particulièrement important dans le cas de la drépanocytose, car la déshydratation peut déclencher des épisodes de douleur. Lorsqu’un enfant atteint de drépanocytose est déshydraté, les cellules sanguines se déshydratent également et changent de forme, ce qui provoque une obstruction des vaisseaux sanguins et des douleurs aiguës. Assurez-vous que votre enfant a facilement accès à de l’eau en tout temps.</p><h2>Autres traitements et médicaments contre la drépanocytose</h2><p>Votre enfant peut recevoir des traitements contre la drépanocytose à l’hôpital pour prévenir les complications et des médicaments contre drépanocytes, les infections et la douleur. Pour en savoir plus sur ces traitements, veuillez consulter la rubrique <a href="/article?contentid=2261&language=french">Drépanocytose : types de traitements et de médicaments</a>.</p><h2>Situations particulières où les parents devraient composer le 9-1-1</h2><p>Si l’une des situations suivantes se produit, consultez immédiatement un médecin ou appelez le 9-1-1 :</p><ul><li>difficulté à respirer;</li><li>perte de conscience;</li><li>maux de tête sévères;</li><li>difficulté à parler ou troubles de l’élocution;</li><li>faiblesse des membres;</li><li>activité convulsive;</li><li>fièvre supérieure à 39 °C;</li><li>léthargie/somnolence inexpliquée;</li><li>vomissements persistants;</li><li>rate enflée.</li></ul>
داء الكريّات المنجلية: دليل عملي للآباءدداء الكريّات المنجلية: دليل عملي للآباءSickle cell disease: A practical guide for parentsArabicHaematologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BodyCardiovascular systemConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2011-03-18T04:00:00Z9.0000000000000053.00000000000002071.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>نظرة عامة سهلة الفهم لمرض داء الكريّات المنجلية من اجل الوالدين.</p>
A anemia falciforme: Guia prático dos paisAA anemia falciforme: Guia prático dos paisSickle Cell Disease: A Practical Guide for ParentsPortugueseNAChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANANAAdult (19+)NA2011-03-18T04:00:00Z53.00000000000009.000000000000002071.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Uma visão global fácil de entender sobre a anemia falciforme destinada aos pais.</p>
Anemia falciforme: Guía práctica para los padresAAnemia falciforme: Guía práctica para los padresSickle Cell Disease: A Practical Guide for ParentsSpanishNAChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANANAAdult (19+)NA2011-03-18T04:00:00Z000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Una descripción sencilla de la anemia falciforme para padres.</p>

 

 

 

 

Sickle cell disease: Overview745.000000000000Sickle cell disease: OverviewSickle cell disease: OverviewSEnglishHaematologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BodyCardiovascular systemConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2024-01-31T05:00:00Z8.8000000000000058.50000000000001266.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>An easy-to-understand overview of sickle cell disease for parents.</p><h2>What is sickle cell disease (SCD)?</h2><p>Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited blood disorders that stop blood flowing normally in the body. <br></p><p>Hemoglobin is the main ingredient in red blood cells. Its job is to help the blood carry oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. There are different types of hemoglobin, including hemoglobin A (normal hemoglobin) and hemoglobin C and S (abnormal types of hemoglobin.</p><p>Normal red blood cells have mostly hemoglobin A, which helps keep them soft and round so they flow easily through small blood vessels. People with sickle cell disease, however, have mostly hemoglobin S (also called sickle hemoglobin). Hemoglobin S can form hard fibres inside the red blood cells, causing them to reshape into sickle (banana) shapes. When red blood cells are curved like this, they cannot move through blood vessels easily. Sometimes they even get stuck and are unable to deliver oxygen to some body tissues.</p> <figure class="asset-c-80"> <span class="asset-image-title">Sickle cell shape</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/Sickle_cell_comparison_MED_ILL_EN.jpg" alt="A red blood cell with normal hemoglobin molecules and a sickled red blood cell with abnormal hemoglobin molecules" /> <figcaption class="asset-image-caption">Red blood cells carry a protein called hemoglobin, which brings oxygen to all the parts of the body. People with sickle cell disease carry sickle-shaped hemoglobin cells that tend to get stuck in the smaller blood vessels.</figcaption> </figure><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder.</li><li>The two main characteristics of SCD are long-standing anemia and recurrent episodes of vaso-occlusion.</li><li>Anemia is a result of increased breakdown of red blood cells. Children may appear pale and have yellow eyes from time to time.</li><li>Vaso-occlusive episodes are caused by blockages of the blood vessels by deformed red blood cells.</li><li>Infection, fatigue and dehydration are possible triggers for a pain episode.</li><li>Do not use ice packs to treat pain.</li></ul><h2>Signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease</h2><p>The two main characteristics of SCD are a long-standing <a href="/Article?contentid=841&language=English">anemia</a> and recurrent episodes of vaso-occlusion:</p><ul><li><p> <strong>Anemia</strong> is caused by a lack of either hemoglobin or red blood cells in the body. When this happens, not enough oxygen gets delivered to the body. This can cause paleness, tiredness or fatigue, and weakness. For example, your child may become tired sooner than their peers when doing an activity. Your child may also have a hard time concentrating.</p><p>Sickle-shaped cells do not live as long as regular red blood cells. They die faster, resulting in an increased breakdown of red blood cells. The liver sometimes cannot keep up with filtering all the broken-down cells, and the bilirubin from the broken-down cells can build up in the system, making the whites of the eyes appear yellow from time to time.</p></li></ul> <figure class="asset-c-80"> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/iCanCopeSCD/anemia_sickle_cell_disease_EN.png" alt="Red blood cells with normal hemoglobin carry enough oxygen—sickled red blood cells with abnormal hemoglobin carry less oxygen" /> </figure> <ul><li> <strong>Vaso-occlusive episodes</strong> are blockages of the blood vessels anywhere in the body caused by deformed red blood cells. Sickle-shaped red blood cells cannot flow through the body as well as regular red blood cells and tend to clump together. This leads to blockages and a lack of oxygen in the affected area of the body. Symptoms depend on where the blood vessels are blocked. If the blood vessel going to a leg bone is blocked, then there will be pain in the leg. If a blood vessel going to the brain is blocked, then there will be symptoms of a stroke, such as weakness on one side of the body.</li></ul> <figure class="asset-c-80"><span class="asset-image-title">Vaso-occlusion in sickle cell disease</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/Sickle_cell_vaso_occlusion_MED_ILL_EN.png" alt="Normal blood flow with healthy red blood cells compared to blocked blood flow from sickled red blood cells" /> <figcaption class="asset-image-caption">Healthy red blood cells are soft, round and flexible. Sickled red blood cells are sticky and hard and can block blood flow.</figcaption> </figure> <p>Other <a href="/article?contentid=2259&language=english">complications in children with sickle cell disease</a> include acute chest syndrome, infection and enlarged spleen (splenic sequestration).</p><h3>Pain episodes</h3><p>The most common symptom of a vaso-occlusive episode is bone pain. Any bone can be affected, including the arms, legs, back and skull. These episodes, commonly called pain crises, are unpredictable. Some children feel unwell before the actual onset of pain and can let an adult know.</p><p>Possible triggers for pain episodes include:</p><ul><li>infection</li><li>stress/fatigue</li><li>dehydration</li><li>exposure to cold and very hot temperatures</li></ul><p>Some pain episodes happen without a known reason.</p><h3>Preventing pain episodes</h3><p>You can help prevent a pain episode by:</p><ul><li>Giving your child lots of fluids to drink so they are not thirsty.</li><li>Dressing your child in a few layers of warm clothing in the winter when they are leaving home.</li><li>Sending an extra sweatshirt and socks to school with your child in case they become wet during recess or at any other time.</li><li>Recognizing fever as a sign of infection and having your child seen immediately by a health-care provider.</li><li>Making sure your child avoids vigorous exercise without the ability to take breaks and drink fluids, especially during hot days.</li></ul><p>Even with these measures, though, children may still have a pain episode.</p><h2>How does someone get sickle cell disease?</h2><p>SCD is always inherited (passed down in families). It is not contagious: you cannot spread it like a cold, and you cannot catch it from someone else.</p><h2>How common is sickle cell disease?</h2><p>SCD is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States and Canada. It is more common in people with an African or Caribbean background, but children of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and South Asian ancestry are also affected.</p><h2>Treatment</h2><p>See <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=4127&language=English">Sickle cell disease: What to do if your child is unwell</a> to understand how to help your child if they are not feeling well. Find information about:</p><ul><li>Temperature</li><li>Pain assessment</li><li>Pain management</li><ul><li>Medications</li><li>Physical strategies</li><li>Psychological strategies</li></ul></ul><p>With SCD, the spleen function is not as good at destroying the cell coating of some bacteria. They should be receiving additional vaccinations to prevent infections caused by the pneumococcal and meningococcal bacteria. If your child is under the age of five, they should be on preventative antibiotics. The most commonly used preventative antibiotic is called <a href="/article?contentid=73&language=english">amoxicillin</a>.<br></p><p>Fever in a child with SCD is considered an emergency and requires prompt treatment with antibiotics. Fever is a sign of infection.</p><p>A thermometer must be available at home for assessing the temperature of your child if they are feeling unwell. A temperature higher than 38°C under the arm and higher than 38.5°C by mouth requires that they be seen promptly at an emergency department.</p><p>Medicines such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen will reduce fever but will not treat the infection that is causing the fever. Using them can lead to a false sense of security or to the fever not being taken seriously. These medicines should only be given to your child to reduce fever after an assessment by a health-care provider.<br></p><h2>Fluid requirements for children with sickle cell disease</h2><p>Children with SCD excrete higher volumes of urine compared with their peers because their kidneys cannot concentrate urine.</p><p>Correspondingly, when a child produces more urine than usual, they must also increase their fluid intake. This is particularly important in SCD, as dehydration can trigger pain episodes. When a child with SCD is dehydrated, blood cells also become dehydrated and change shape, causing blood vessel blockage and acute pain. Make sure your child has easy access to water at all times.<br></p><h2>Other treatments and medications for sickle cell disease</h2><p>Your child may receive sickle cell treatments in hospital to prevent complications and medications to target sickle cells, infections and pain. To learn more about these treatments, please see <a href="/article?contentid=2261&language=english">Sickle cell disease: Types of treatments and medications</a>.</p><h2>Special situations where parents should call 9-1-1</h2><p>If any of the following occurs, seek immediate medical attention or call 9-1-1 right away:</p><ul><li>difficulty breathing</li><li>loss of consciousness</li><li>severe headache</li><li>difficulty speaking or slurring of speech</li><li>weakness of limbs</li><li>seizure activity</li><li>fever greater than 39°C</li><li>unexplained lethargy/sleepiness</li><li>persistent vomiting</li><li>recognition of an enlarged spleen</li></ul>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/Sickle_cell_vaso_occlusion_MED_ILL_EN.pngSickle cell disease: OverviewFalse Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder. Learn about the signs and symptoms, potential treatments and when to call 911.

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