Vaso-Occlusive Events In Sickle Cells Case Study

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Vaso-occlusive events are moments of severe pain common in sickle cell patients; it is a result of the adhesion of cells to the endothelial lining. While leukocytes play a role in vaso-occlusive events, erythrocyte activity plays an even bigger role. It was discovered that the receptors on the erythrocytes and the endothelial cell were responsible for the mediation of the adhesion of erythrocytes to the endothelial lining (Stuart; Nagel, 2004). The adhesions of these cells to the cell wall is what leads to inflammatory disease, and certain types of acute chest syndrome. Vaso-occlusive events are common in sickle cell patients, but they are not the leading cause of death. Acute chest syndrome takes that spot. Acute chest syndrome is …show more content…

Acute chest syndrome has been studied extensively in the past due to two reasons. First, it is the leading cause of death in patients with sickle cell disease. Secondly, there is not optimal treatment for acute chest syndrome. This is because there are so many factors that can cause it. Pulmonary fat embolism can cause acute chest syndrome, but so can viral infections, bacterial infections, and mixed infections (Vichinsky, 2000). While there are so many causes of acute chest syndrome, the most noticeable was pulmonary fat embolism, which account for 8.8% of all acute chest syndrome occurrences (Vichinsky, 2000). On table 4, you can see each disease that caused the onset of acute chest syndrome, and how many people it affected.
To properly treat patients with sickle cell disease who are suffering from acute chest syndrome, multiple precautions must be taken into account. First, broad-spectrum antibiotics should be administered due to the high chance that it is caused by a bacterial infection. Secondly, airway hyperreactivity should be assumed and checked for even if wheezing or coughing is not present. Thirdly, if possible, patients who suffer from anemia should seek blood transfusions before the onset of respiratory distress. Lastly, if the patient sees no improvement, they may be treated with alternative drugs such as nitric oxide or hydroxyurea, but this is only in severe cases.
As previously stated,

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