TREATMENT FOR SICKLE CELL ANEMIA
Sadly, there is no cure for SCA. The purpose of treatment for Sickle Cell Anemia is to reduce pain, relieve symptoms, and prevent possible harm from SCA related diseases/infections.
Treatment/Prevention for Sickle Cell Anemia varies with the age of the patient.
Infants/Children (Ages 1-12) should be breast fed, rather than bottle fed. Breast milk contains more iron and natural nutrients. Iron is vital, for it is the element in hemoglobin that carries oxygen. Around the age of 2 months, Penicillin Prophylaxis can be started to prevent possible pneumonia. Since SCA decreases the patient's body's ability to fight off infection, the body becomes open to many infections. Also, at this young age, children do not have strong immune systems. Penicillin Prophylaxis helps prevent pneumonia, a lung infection that can potentially be deadly. Another treatment method is educating the patient about the disease. Notifying the child about what activities they can or can not do, what to do when they feel chest pains, and basic information on how to handle the effects of the disease can help prevent any future harm that comes from SCA.
Adolescents (Ages 13-21) should be more educated about the disease, while maintaining basic restrictions of activity that come with the disease. Knowing about the disease can help prevent harm from SCA. Penicillin Prophylaxis can stop at this point, for the body's immune system has strengthened.
Pain caused by SCA can be treated simply by taking over the counter pain killers. More severe pain must be treated with more powerful prescription drugs.
Hydroxyurea is a medicine that tells the body to produce fetal hemoglobin. Fetal hemoglobin helps prevent the sickling of red blood cells, and helps reduce the SCA.
Blood Transfusions are a way of treating patients with SCA that is getting worse and worse. Blood transfusions transfer healthy blood into the patients body. This reduces the gradual progression of the anemia by incorporating normal unsickled red blood cells into the patients blood stream.
|Brian Oh|Biology 2|Final Project|5/30/2013|