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can one with sickle cell disease live a normal life?

By Anonymous July 4, 2018 - 8:44am
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like be an athlete and live long

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HERWriter Guide

Hello Anon

Thank you for writing!

Unfortunately, life expectancy for those with sickle cell anemia is not as long as for those without. It's a very serious condition but as science advances, outcomes are becoming more positive.

Basic treatment of sickle cell crisis includes:

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
A 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.

People do face challenges with this condition, but many live full-filling lives. Much of it depends on treatment, finances, support and other factors. As to whether one can be an athlete, Geno Atkins Jr comes to mind, although obviously that won't be the case with everyone, with or without the sickle cell condition.

July 4, 2018 - 9:52am
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