A vaso-occlusive crisis is a common painful complication of sickle cell anemia in adolescents and adults. It is a form of sickle cell crisis. A condition that is most common in those of African, Hispanic, and Mediterranean origin, although it is not limited to just these races. It occurs when the circulation of blood vessels is obstructed by sickled red blood cells, causing ischemic injuries. The most common complaint is of pain, and recurrent episodes may cause irreversible organ damage. One of the most severe forms is the acute chest syndrome which occurs as a result of infarction of the lung parenchyma, this can rapidly result in death of the patient if not properly managed immediately. The management of an acute event of vaso-occlusive crisis is the use of potent analgesic (Opioids), Rehydration with Normal saline or ringers lactate, treatment of malaria (whether symptomatic or not) using Atemisinin Combination Therapy, use of adjunct therapy such as Oxygen via face mask, especially for acute chest syndrome, use of antibiotics because they usually have occult infection due to a "functional asplenia". Related symptoms are dactylitis, priapism, abdominal pain and jaundice.
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