Sickle Cell Anemia, Crisis and Care

What is Anemia?

Anemia is a Greek word which means without blood. As the meaning of anemia showing the actual situation. Anemia is a condition in which your blood has abnormally low number of red blood cells circulate in the body. Anemia is not a disease, in fact it is a condition that results from below-normal levels of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. Hemoglobin is the iron-containing pigment of the red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. Anemia also can occur if your red blood cells don't contain enough hemoglobin doctors sometimes describe someone with anemia as having a low blood count. A person who has anemia is called anemic person.

What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle cell is belongs to the family of thalassemia, it is very common inherited blood disorder disease, it occurs almost exclusively among black Americans and black Africans. Sickle cell disease (STD) is a condition that affects your blood. It's sometimes called sickle cell anemia. The red cells in your blood, which are usually disc-shaped, can turn into crescent or sickle shape. This stops your blood carrying oxygen as well as it should be. And sickle cells can't travel in your bloodstream as easily as ordinary red blood cells.These abnormal red blood cells, carrying an abnormal hemoglobin known as hemoglobin S. A person who has sickle cell disease can get infections more easily because the damaged cells eventually clog the spleen. These sickle shaped cells did not last long and usually die after only about 10 to 20 days.

STD can be diagnose by a simple blood test called CBC, in which complete blood counts, with red blood cells, and protein with iron and hemoglobin measured. While A hemoglobin electrophoresis test measuring the different types of hemoglobin in the bloodstream.

Sickle Cell Crisis:

In sickle cell disease sometimes patient suffers with severe and constant pain attacks which can be affect any body parts specially hands,elbows, knee joints, chest, legs, lower or upper back and palms etc. The liver or spleen may become large than normal size which is unable to protect the body form different infections. These kind of pains are very severe and the patient usually cannot bear it. When the pain starts, immediately give over-the-counter painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to the affected person and have him lots of fluids orally or by injection which helps to push the stuck cells to flow ahead in narrow blood vessels and the due to this the pain starting to subside.


As we know that there is no proper cure for this deadly disease while there may be some care instead of cure. STD patient need oxygen, plenty of fluids and iron containing foods to reduce the severity of the pain. In some cases they need blood transfusion if the condition is more serious.A drug called hydroxyurea(brand name Hydrea) may prevent regular attacks of sickle cell pain and give more gap between severe pain attacks. Medical experts are still trying hard to get proper treatment for STD.

Muhammed Anwar Fazil
Basic Level Expert Author