Symptoms and Treatment
Sickle cell disease is one in a variety of disorders passed down through families (inherited) in which there is abnormal production or structure of the hemoglobin molecule. The medical term for this is hemoglobinopathy.
Common Variations of the Sickle Cell Gene:
- Sickle Cell trait, or HbAS
- Sickle Cell anemia, or HbSS
- Sickle Cell-hemoglobin SC disease, or HbSC
- Sickle Cell-hemoglobin E disease
- Hemoglobin S-beta-thalassemia
Our Treatment Process and Options
Sickle cell disease is a hereditary, lifelong, chronic disease, which currently has no cure. That's why our team of experts focuses not only on treating complications when they arise, but also on helping patients prevent those complications from ever occurring.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for sickle cell may include:
- Blood tests
- Pulmonary function testing
- Newborn hemoglobinopathy testing
- A complete family history
Early diagnosis is essential in providing proper preventive treatment for some of the devastating complications of the disease. A hemoglobin electrophoresis is a blood test that can determine if the child is a carrier of a specific sickle cell trait or has any of the diseases associated with the sickle cell gene.
The course of treatment will be determined by:
- Your child's age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the disease
- Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the disease
- Your opinion or preference
Treatment often involves enacting many preventative measures into children’s daily life, including drinking more water to remain hydrated, and managing the pain and symptoms at home through over-the-counter and prescription medications. Other treatment options may include:
- Receiving fluid intravenously
- Blood transfusions
- Bone marrow transplants
Sickle cell disease brings life-long changes to a patient’s life and requires education of children and their families to learn how to deal with this disease and what preventative actions can be taken to ease its affects.
Families are provided with the opportunity to participate in clinical trials unique to the research projects being completed at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Eligible patients being treated for sickle cell disease and other hematological diseases can choose to participate in a program that matches patients with the best possible treatment options and the most up-to-date medications available.
Out outpatient clinic allows patients to come in during regular business house if they are experiencing acute needs. Hospitalization may occur for pain management.
Read more about the symptoms and treatment of sickle cell disease in children.
Read more about sickle cell disease in pregnancy.