Features of a Sickle Cell Crisis 
Sickle-cell disease ...

Features of a Sickle Cell Crisis 

Sickle-cell disease - an autosomal recessive blood disorder.

Characterized by red blood cells that adopt an abnormal, rigid, sickle shape.

These cells can go on to block blood vessels leading to a "sickle cell crisis".

Crises can be precipitated by a variety of factors and are usually associated with severe pain, lasting from 5-7 days.

Sickle cell disease almost exclusively affects black individuals.

The underlying pathophysiology of the crisis (4 different mechanism exist):

1) Vaso-ocdusion- Obstruction of capillaries leading to ischaemia.

2) Aplasia - Acute worsening of the baseline anaemia. Can be triggered by Parvovirus B 19, a virus that invades & destroys red blood cell precursors).

3) Splenic Sequestration - Major sequestration of sickle cells in the spleen.

4) Haemolysis - An accelerated drop in haemaglobin levels. (Accelerated red blood cell breakdown - more in patients with co-existent G6PD deficiency

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