LIVE LONGER WITH SICKLE CELL DISEASE BY APPLYING THESE
9 PRINCIPLES TO CREATE A HEALTHIER AND HAPPIER LIFE
Exercise normally. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise.
Drink extra water to prevent dehydration during and after exertion and when in the heat.
See your doctor regularly
Keep immunizations up to date Follow pain management plan Take prescribed medications
Get routine eye exams
Manage and reduce stress
Get plenty of rest and sleep
Manage your finances and live within your means. Financial issues cause unneed stress. Stress can weaken your immune system making it harder to fight the disease.
Belong to a faith-based community & attend services regularly
Learn about proper diet and dietary supplements. A balance diet helps keep the body's immune system strong.
Surround yourself with family, friends and people who support positive behaviors - and who support you
Don't drink alcohol. Don't smoke and avoid
secondhand smoke. Alcohol can lead to
dehydration. Smoking and secondhand smoke
reduce the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream
Red Cell Exchange in Sickle Cell Disease
Red cell exchange transfusions remain an effective but possibly underutilized therapy in the acute and chronic treatment of sickle cell disease. In sickle cell disease, increased blood viscosity can cause complications when the hemoglobin exceeds 10 g/dL even if this is due to simple transfusion. Red cell exchange can provide needed oxygen carrying capacity while reducing the overall viscosity of blood.
Acute red cell exchange is useful in acute infarctive stroke, in acute chest and the multi-organ failure syndromes, the right upper quadrant syndrome, and possibly priapism. Neither simple or exchange transfusions are likely to hasten resolution of an acute pain episode.
In a red cell exchange, the patient’s red cells are removed and replaced by exogenous normal red cells. The exchange prevents the removed sickle cells from participating in new vaso-occlusive events, reduces hemolytic complications, and provides added oxygen carrying capacity while decreasing the blood viscosity.
The vast majority of transfusions for sickle cell disease are simple red cell transfusions, packed red cells administered intravenously. Simple transfusions are useful where added oxygen carrying capacity is needed. Unless accompanied by bleeding or rapid red cell destruction, both the hemoglobin concentration and the viscosity of the blood will increase.
"I was open to the new option so we began during the summer of 2009. I was nervous but the possibility of having little to no pain at all was exciting. My blood was typed and cross matched with donor blood.
The machine would filter out my blood in exchange for ten units of O positive red blood cells.
The next day my family and I arrived for the process to begin. The American Red Cross nurse was very knowledgeable and friendly which helped me remain calm.
Everything was a success and within a week and a half I felt like a brand new person! My bones no longer ached and I was able to stop taking the heavy pain medication.
Once my senior year of high school began I was able to attend school more often. I also was able to run the mile jog in eight minutes with the rest of the gym class….and I wasn’t the last person to finish! It was as if the Red Cell Exchange allowed me to have a normal, functioning body of a teenager.
I graduated with my high school class and began preparation to attend college."