Tuesday, November 20, 2018 | ePaper

BREAKING NEWS:

The painful inherited blood disorder

  • Print


Life Desk :
A healthy person has spherical red blood cells, but one suffering from Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) will have rigid, sticky and crescent-shaped, sickle-like red blood cells (RBCs).
It is an inherited blood disorder that can be acquired from either or both the parents. The irregular shaped RBCs in this condition get stuck in the small blood vessels and slow down or block the blood flow and oxygen to various parts of the body. Imaginably, it is a painful disease and while there is no cure yet for sickle cell anaemia, certain treatments can help relieve the pain and avoid ailments associated with this disorder. World Sickle Cell Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 to increase awareness about this genetic disorder that can be cured and managed, if diagnosed early.
What are the symptoms?
Dr Amita Mahajan, senior consultant, Paediatric Oncology and Haematology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals shares the symptoms that a person suffering from SCD might show.
· Patients can develop low haemoglobin, requiring transfusions.
· They can also develop periodic episodes of pain, called crises starting from the first year of life, which can be very disabling.
· Such patients are also prone to developing repeated pneumonia, painful swelling of hands and feet, sudden enlargement of the spleen (an organ that fights infection), stroke, vision problems, delayed growth and other complications of the bone.
What are the causes?
It is an inherited disorder and even if one of the parents has it, the child is susceptible to the disease and may have one normal haemoglobin gene and one defective form of the gene. Thus, their bodies will produce both normal and sickle cell haemoglobin. However, if both the parents have an affected gene, then the child will have the disease too.
What are the precautions one can take?
· Dehydration and lack of oxygen must be avoided.
· Patients must remain hydrated at all times and should take extra care if they are travelling to higher altitudes.
· Patients affected by the disease should follow up with haematologists on regular basis.
What is the treatment available?
· Patients with this condition should have additional folic acid and protection from pneumonia in the form of a vaccine and antibiotic prophylaxis.
· Hydroxyurea can significantly benefit patients suffering from this disease in reducing or eliminating the requirement for blood transfusion, reduction in painful episodes and decrease in the risk of stroke and other complications associated with the disease.
· The only curative treatment of the disease is Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant, which has a very high success rate. If there is Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matched donor in the family, then that donor is preferred the most. However, if there is no matched family donor, a potential donor can be searched from the Bone Marrow Donor Registries. This is referred to as Matched Unrelated Donor transplant.
· Currently, newborn screening programs have been initiated in certain parts of India, so that affected babies can be identified early and appropriate treatment can be started. If there is an affected child in a family, it is possible to check for this condition in the next pregnancy so that the family has the option of terminating the pregnancy.
- IANS | New Delhi

More News For this Category

Why marriages fail

Why marriages fail

Harriet Lerner Ph.D. :With marriage having a fifty percent no-go rate it's obvious that people don't follow their best thinking, just like people don't eat healthfully even when they

Poverty elimination through women empowerment

Poverty elimination through women empowerment

Reza Mahmud :Widows have overcome adversaries with the small donation taken from a NGO in the Lalmonirhat district's Aditmari upazila. Some of them built poultry and cows fattening farms

Managing emotions for good health

Managing emotions for good health

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :Feeling, fear, emotion are human instincts. All men are devien with such instincts. Feeling arises from brain and it transmits through the process of transformation,

When is it emotional abuse?

When is it emotional abuse?

Andrea Mathews LPC, NCC :We hear the term emotional abuse tossed about quite a bit these days. So, lest we make it a dumping ground for every negative emotional

Self-development workshop for underprivileged women in city

Self-development workshop for underprivileged women in city

Rabiul Alam :Oxfam Bangladesh and Dustha Shasthya Kendra (DSK) jointly hosted a workshop titled "Network meeting with local government and women Development related organizations" under the project "Empowering Women

Free eye camps in city, Raipur

Free eye camps in city, Raipur

Life Desk :Two free eye camps for the underprivileged people were held at New Castle International School premises in Jatrabari in the city and at Raipur Union Parishad Bhavan,

Maternal exposure of asthma in babies

Maternal exposure of asthma in babies

Life Desk :Babies born to mothers who got exposed to pollen during the last trimester may be at increased risk of developing respiratory diseases such as asthma, says a

Would lottery winning change the life really?

Would lottery winning change the life really?

Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. :USA Today reports that Mega Millions has hit a $1 billion jackpot - which is the largest Mega Millions prize ever.[i]  The article recognizes that

A doctor should be more a friend

A doctor should be more a friend

Prof. M Zahidul Haque :A medical doctor's cordial and friendly behavior creates a positive impact on the treatment and subsequent healing process of a patient. Recently I had been

How much screen time should kids be allowed each day?

How much screen time should kids be allowed each day?

Randy Kulman Ph.D :One of the most common complaints I hear from parents in my practice is that their kids spend too much time staring at screens. While this