Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease is a disorder that affects red blood cells and causes them to contain an abnormal type of hemoglobin which is a major component to red blood cells. In sickle cell disease, the red blood cells often become sickle-shaped which have trouble passing through smaller blood vessels and can cause various symptoms and complications associated with sickle cell disease. Some of these complications include lung tissue damage called acute chest syndrome or vaso-occlusive crises characterized by episodes of pain commonly in the arms, legs, chest, back or abdomen.
Currently, hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) is the only established curative therapy available for patients with sickle cell disease. However, this option comes with some risks and is only available for a smaller percentage of patients. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to reduce the occurrence of vaso-occlusive crises including regular blood transfusions and medicinal therapies which are listed below: