Enter sickle cell crisis.
Sickle cell crisis, or sickle cell disease, is characterized by abnormal red blood cells that assume a rigid, sickle shape. This sickling of the red blood cells decreases their flexibility, leading to a host of health complications.
One such complication is vaso-occlusive crisis. Also called painful crisis, vaso-occlusive crisis occurs when the abnormal red blood cells begin to restrict blood flow to the organs and obstruct capillaries. The patient experiences painful bouts of vaso-occlusive crisis from time to time, with the severity of the pain varying from one episode to another.
But there is still hope for people with the disease. Sickle cell crisis treatments are now available. Some examples are:
Cyanate. Dietary cyanate is used as treatment for sickle cell anemia. Thing is it has to be administered to the sickle cell disease patient for a lifetime since the cyanate also needs to affect new sickle-shaped red blood cells in the blood.
Hydroxyurea. Hyroxyurea is the first approved medicine for the causative treatment of the sickle cell disease. Some are concerned that long term use might be harmful, but studies show the risks are very small and nothing to be worried about.
Bone marrow transplant. This procedure is proven effective in children.
Vaso-occlusive crisis also puts the patient at risk from organ damage. Sometimes the patient is given narcotics as a pain retardant, though might not be a healthy thing to do for obvious reasons. Great care must be taken so the patient does not get addicted.
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