Items in AFP with MESH term: Anemia, Sickle Cell
ABSTRACT: Sickle cell disease represents a spectrum of inherited hemoglobin disorders. The pathophysiology involves abnormalities not just in red blood cells but also vascular endothelium, white blood cell function, coagulation, and inflammatory response. Known sequelae of sickle cell disease include invasive infections, painful episodes, acute chest syndrome, strokes, and chronic pulmonary hypertension. Preventive strategies that decrease the risk of infection are the routine use of daily antibiotics until five years of age, immunization of children with the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in addition to the 23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine, annual influenza vaccination after six months of age, and meningococcal vaccination after two years of age. A significant advance in stroke prevention is the use of transcranial Doppler ultrasonography to identify asymptomatic, at-risk children who should be considered for chronic blood transfusions. Chronic transfusion therapy for primary or secondary stroke prevention requires careful surveillance for iron overload and chelation therapy. Patients with chest pain, fever, or respiratory symptoms and new pulmonary infiltrates require aggressive medical management for acute chest syndrome. Pain management still represents an important area for aggressive treatment using sickle cell disease-specific guidelines. Newer treatments include hydroxyurea therapy to decrease the frequency of painful episodes and associated comorbidities, and hematopoietic cell transplantation for a limited subset of patients. Family physicians play a crucial role in instituting evidence-based preventive care strategies, initiating timely treatment of acute illness, recognizing life-threatening episodes, and providing a medical home for multidisciplinary management.
Screening for Sickle Cell Disease in Newborns: Recommendation Statement - U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
Screening for Sickle Cell Disease in Newborns - Putting Prevention into Practice
AAP Technical Report on the Prevention of Pneumococcal Infections - Practice Guidelines
Chronic Non-healing Ulcers - Photo Quiz
Management of Pain in Sickle Cell Disease - Practice Guidelines
ABSTRACT: Treatment advances over the past 25 years have significantly decreased morbidity and mortality in children with sickle cell disease. Aggressive management of fever, early diagnosis of acute chest syndrome, judicious use of transfusions and proper treatment of pain can improve quality of life and prognosis for these children. Prophylactic hydroxyurea therapy has been shown to reduce the incidence and severity of pain crises in adults with sickle cell disease and has been effective in limited studies conducted in children. Research into stem cell transplantation provides hope that a cure for sickle cell disease may be possible.