SICKLE-CELL ANAEMIA

How Does a Doctor Know a Kid Has It?

Special blood tests can tell a doctor if a kid has sickle cell disease. The tests will show the doctor the type of haemoglobin (say: hee-muh-glow-bin) in the kids red blood cells. Haemoglobin is the part of the blood that carries oxygen to different parts of the body in the RBCs. There are different types of haemoglobin, including haemoglobin A and haemoglobin S. Normal RBCs contain haemoglobin A, but people with sickle cell disease have mostly haemoglobin S (the "S" stands for sickle) in their red blood cells.

How Is Sickle Cell Anaemia Treated?

Most young kids with sickle cell anaemia take penicillin (say: peh-nuh-sih-Iun), a drug that helps prevent infections. A doctor may also prescribe a vitamin supplement called folic acid, Folic acid helps the body make new RBCs. Taking penicillin or vitamins does not cure sickle cell anaemia, but it can help keep a kid with sickle cell anaemia from getting sick. Pain medicine also helps kids with this disease.

A kid with sickle cell anaemia may need to go to the hospital if he or she has a lot ?

If pain or a serious infection. At the hospaI, the kid can get IV fluids, antibiotics, or other medicine. Sometimes kids with sickle cell anaemia need blood transfusions (say: trans-few-zyuns). Thats a way to put healthy blood cells right into a kids body. A blood transfusion raises the amount of normal haemoglobin in the blood. It also decreases the chances that blockage, or crisis, will happen.

Can Sickle Cell Anaemia Be Cured?

In some cases, a bone marrow transplant can cure sickle cell anaemia. Bone marrow transplants replace the sickle cells with healthy cells from a donor. A donor is a person who gives healthy bone marrow or other organs or body parts to someone else who needs it. Not just any bone marrow will do. For the transplant to work, the bone marrow must be a close match. Usually, the best donor is a brother or sister.

What Can a Kid do to Stay Well ?

Taking penicillin every day helps prevent infections in kids who have sickle cell anaemia. Its important for them to stay as healthy as possible. That means eating healthy foods and drinks and getting plenty of sleep. Kids with the disease can play and exercise, but they should not get too hot, too cold, or too tired.

Another type of medicine, called hydroxyurea (say: hi-drok-see-yu-ree-uh), can help prevent infections and illnesses. This medicine must be taken every day. A kid with the disease who has a fever, pain, or any other problems needs to tell an adult right away. Fast treatment is very important, so the kid can get back to feeling good again soon.

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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