Thursday, July 18, 2013

What may trigger a sickle cell crisis?

I have a 5 year old girl in my follow up who has sickle cell disease. We were trying to look at precautions to reduce the risk of sickling in this situation. Here is what I found...
"What causes a sickle cell crisis for you may be different than what causes it for someone else. You may not know what causes a sickle cell crisis to happen for you. The following are triggers that may make a sickle cell crisis happen:
·         Dehydration:
o    This is when your body has lost too much fluid. Losing body water makes it more likely that red blood cells will block your blood vessels. With sickle cell disease, your kidneys are not able to save as much body fluid as people who do not have the disease. This makes you more likely to get dehydrated.
o    This can happen when it is hot outside. It can also happen if you do not drink as much liquid as your body needs. You are more likely to get dehydrated if you are at high altitude (such as in the mountains). Dehydration is also more likely if you exercise without drinking enough liquid.

·         Infections: Getting an infection in your lungs can cause a sickle cell crisis.
·         Hypoxia: Hypoxia happens when your body does not get enough oxygen. Hard exercise such as running can cause hypoxia. Being at high altitude and flying in an airplane can also cause lack of oxygen.
·         Cold temperature: Being in a cold place may trigger a sickle cell crisis for some people. A crisis may also be started if you quickly go from a warm to a cold place.
·         Surgery: Having surgery or a medical procedure puts a strain on your body. Having a baby causes a woman's body to work very hard, and can trigger a sickle cell crisis.
·         Emotional stress: Strong feelings, such as anger, frustration and depression may trigger a sickle cell crisis."

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