Best Treatment for Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle cell anemia is a blood disorder affecting a lot of people of all ages. It’s passed down by genes from parents to babies. SCD causes irregular hemoglobin to develop in your body. Hemoglobin is a protein that is round and versatile in your red blood cells. They move through the small vessels of your blood and bring oxygen to all parts of your body. With Sickle cell anemia, the red blood cells are poorly shaped, hard, and sticky. They get stuck in and start clogging your blood vessels. This can cause pain, infection, damage to the organs, low blood count, strokes and other serious health problems
A single known cure for Sickle cell anemia is a blood or marrow transplant (BMT. Sickle cell anemia bone marrow transplant is a therapy that takes healthy blood-forming cells from a donor and gives them to you to replace the toxic cells by an intravenous (IV) infusion. Sometimes, this procedure is also called a stem cell transplant.
What is bone marrow?
Bone marrow is a sponge-like tissue inside the bones that functions as a “factory” and produces all of the body’s blood cells. Its stem cells produce red, white, and platelet cells. People with sickle cell disease have stem cells in the bone marrow, which produce abnormal red cells containing defective hemoglobin.
For a transplant to proceed, two essential requirements must be met.
- The first is determining who the right donor is. Blood checks decide who will be the fastest
- Second, after the best donor has been selected, both the donor and the patient will have pre-transplantation procedures like cardiac assessments, lungs, kidneys, etc.
Interviews with a psychologist are also are an essential part of the process.
How does a patient undergo a bone marrow transplant?
A child with sickle cell anemia is treated initially with chemotherapy to eliminate his or her unhealthy bone marrow to create space in the bone marrow for the healthy stem cells. Then, through a vein, he or she receives healthy cells of the bone marrow (donated by a brother or sister), similar to a blood transfusion. They do not usually involve surgery.
What are the risks of bone marrow transplants?
Although most kids do well-following bone marrow transplantation, which involves certain risks.
Once the new bone marrow stem cells are injected into the child’s bloodstream with sickle cell disease, the new stem cells may need several weeks to grow. Your child will be in the hospital for around two to three weeks while the new stem cells are developing in the bone marrow.
The baby is at risk for infection or bleeding during this period. Infection or bleeding can be severe and can lead to death in rare cases. In some of the cases, the transplant may fail, resulting in sickle cell disease returning. Other risks are possible, and that should be discussed in detail with your doctor.
Skilled doctors perform the procedure of bone marrow transplant for sickle cell anemia treatment which is the only way to treat SCD.