A hereditary disease that destroys red blood cells by causing them to become rigid and “sickle” shaped. Occurs mainly in persons of African descent. When red blood cells release oxygen to the tissues and O2 concentration is reduced, the red cells and become rigid, assuming a sickle shape. As the cells are re-oxygenated the sickle-shaped cells become clogged in the small blood vessels causing obstruction of the circulation. This results in damage to the various tissues.
A single genetic mutation of the hemoglobin molecule. Inheritance of the mutated gene from both parents results in sickle cell disease. A person who inherits the mutated gene from only one parent is a carrier of the trait. There is no cure for this condition.
Manage pain of SC crisis, promote optimal perfusion and prevention of complications
During a SC crisis, red blood cells cannot effectively deliver oxygen to the tissues resulting in poor perfusion. Frequent infections often result in pneumonia and cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
Changes in respiratory status and hypoxia may lead to arrhythmias
Medication is given to manage the symptoms of a crisis event and treat any underlying infections that may cause a crisis.
In some cases, blood transfusions may be necessary to manage crisis events and increase perfusion to vital organs.
Bacterial infections may be severe and often result in pneumonia. Frequent infections weaken the organ systems and may lead to organ failure.
Stress on the organ systems from dehydration can exacerbate the pain of a crisis. Encourage adequate hydration and administer IV fluids to promote adequate blood viscosity.
Decreased peripheral circulation often results in changes in the skin and delayed wound healing.
Sickling of red blood cells can damage the vessels in the eyes over time and cause blindness.
Decreased circulating blood volume can occur resulting in tachycardia and hypotension
Stress and physical activity increase the body’s metabolic need for oxygen. Reducing stress helps preserve fluid balance and provides better individual pain control.
The brain is sensitive to fluctuations in oxygen balance. Decreased perfusion of brain tissue may result in confusion, loss of consciousness or stroke.
Create Your Free Account