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how long do people w/ sickle cell anemia usually live?

By Anonymous January 8, 2012 - 5:30pm
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Hi Anon,

Thank you for your question. Are you asking because you or a love one is living with Sickle Cell Anemia?

Many people live with sickle cell anemia all of their lives and live a life just as long as someone who is completely healthy. However, this isn't left for us to answer since every single person is different. 

Please speak to your doctor since s/he is the best person to answer this question. 

Here is some treatment information for Sickle cell anemia: 


Basic treatment of sickle cell crisis includes:

  • Bedrest
  • Pain relief medications
  • Oral and intravenous fluids
  • Oxygen—to reduce pain and prevent complications


In addition, treatment may include:


Newborns with sickle cell disease may be given penicillin. It is given twice a day, beginning at age two months. It is continued until at least five years of age.

Pneumococcal Vaccine

It is recommended that children with sickle cell disease who are 2-5 years of age receive pneumococcal vaccine (PCV-7).

Hydroxyurea (Hydrea)

This is the first drug to significantly prevent complications of sickle cell disease.

It increases the production of fetal hemoglobin. This decreases the number of deformed red blood cells. As a result, it reduces the frequency of sickle cell crisis.

Hydrea is not appropriate for everyone with sickle cell disease. It is only recommended for people over age 18 who have had at least three painful crises in the previous year.

Blood Transfusions

Blood transfusions can treat and prevent some of the complications. Regular transfusion therapy can help prevent recurring strokes in children.

Bone Marrow Transplant

bone marrow transplant from a matched donor may be effective. There are medical risks involved. Recipients must also take drugs that suppress the immune system for the rest of their lives.

If you or your child is diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, follow your doctor's instructions .

Best Wishes,


January 9, 2012 - 4:01am
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