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patient education

What Is a Sickle Cell Crisis?

key information

source: WebMD


At some point in your life, you’ll accidentally drop something into the sink. If it’s small and of little value, like a marble, it’s not an issue. You let the water run and flush it through. But if your kid slips a big piece of Lego down the drain, you’re going to have some bigger problems when it gets stuck in your pipes.

That’s kind of like what happens during a sickle cell crisis. Red blood cells are usually round and have some give to them — their shape lets them move easily throughout your body. But when you have sickle cell disease (SCD), some cells are curved — like a sickle–and hard. They don’t flow as easily, and they can get stuck in the small blood vessels of your chest, belly, and joints. That’s when you have a sickle cell crisis.

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