Friday, June 13, 2014

Ways Of Preventing Sickle Cell Anemia

By Sally Delacruz

Sickle cell disease is a genetic condition that affects hemoglobin in the red blood cells. It comes with recurrent pain and several complications that have a far reaching effect on the victim. The patient suffers at psychosocial level, education and in a way that will interfere with his economic potential.

It is important to see a genetic counselor before a couple tries to conceive. Preventing sickle cell anemia is difficult after a child is born. The counselor helps you to understand the risks of giving birth to an affected child. He gives you the reproductive options available, preventive measures and possible treatment options.

A patient will live to adulthood if the condition is not too severe. Children born with a severe condition are unlucky and rarely celebrate their fifth birthday. Death results from complications related to the condition and an anemic attack. Early detection makes management easier for cases where preconception prevention measures were not taken. Those who survive beyond the five years have to live with numerous complications.

Sickle cell disease causes a lot of social economic pressure and stress to patients and their families. The crisis is recurrent and takes over every aspect of family life. Such a family gains a lot from support given by health departments and institutions to manage such patients. The care giver can concentrate on management while health-care providers address medical concerns.

The absence of known cure makes management of the condition the only option. Personal attention must be given to manage the complications and help the patient in dealing with the pain. Such a patient requires a lot of rest, good nutrition, analgesics and antibiotics. They also require fluids and folic acid to support their health.

Therapeutic remedies have been found in some regions but they are subject to research and analysis. The agents have shown the ability to reduce severity of attack. Neonatal screening has been used to reduce infant mortality and morbidity. This approach is effective when administered alongside parental education, timely testing and comprehensive management.

Penicillin has been used to counter infections arising from this condition. This is not an option that can be used by all families considering cost and availability. The approach that should be taken by governments and advocacy groups involves counseling for the purpose of prevention. Early detection is beneficial since patients can enjoy skilled attention in managing complications arising from the condition.

The involvement of parents, care givers and teachers is crucial in achieving a multi disciplinary approach. Data collection aids in developing intervention measures since trends can be noted and necessary attention given to the process. Counseling before conception and screening for the couples is also crucial. It ensures that children are not born with sickle cell anemia.

The cost effectiveness of localized solution in pain management is proven. They do not require a lot of resources and are sustainable. Outreach and advocacy by health and social workers reduces chances of infected children. Early detection is the other option to facilitate professional management.

Couples intending to get married and bear children should consider family histories for traces of the disease. This can be ascertained during preconception counseling and screening. Detecting the condition early makes it easier to manage.

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