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Sickle crisis in the critically ill 

Sickle crisis in the critically ill
Chapter:
Sickle crisis in the critically ill
Author(s):

Shilpa Jain

and Mark T. Gladwin

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199600830.003.0275
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date: 29 November 2020

Sickle cell disease crises are precipitated by an acute occlusion of microvessels, which can lead to end organ ischaemia reperfusion injury and acute haemolysis. Acute fat emboli syndrome, acute lung injury (the acute chest syndrome), acute pulmonary hypertension, and cor pulmonale, haemorrhagic and occlusive stroke, and systemic infection represent the most common life-threatening complications observed in current ICU practice. General principles of management in all patients admitted to the critical care unit are hydration, antibiotics, pain control, and maintenance of oxygenation and ventilation. Red blood cell transfusion therapy is the treatment of choice for most complications of sickle cell disease requiring intensive care management. Transfusion of sickle negative, leukoreduced red blood cells, phenotypically matched for Rhesus and Kell antigens is the minimum standard of care in sickle cell disease patients as they have a high incidence of red blood cell alloimmunization.

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