Your child’s healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment plan for your child based on:
- How old your child is
- His or her overall health and medical history
- How sick your child is
- How well your child can handle certain medicines, treatments, or therapies
- How long the condition is expected to last
- Your opinion or preference
Early diagnosis and preventing further problems is important in treating this disease. Your child's healthcare provider will refer you to a hematologist. This is an expert in blood disorders. Other specialists may also be involved in your child's care.
Treatment options may include:
- Pain medicines. These are used for pain crises.
- Drinking plenty of water daily (8 to 10 glasses). This helps prevent and treat pain crises. In some cases, IV (intravenous) fluids may be needed.
- Blood transfusions. These are used to treat anemia, chronic pain, acute chest syndrome, and splenic sequestration, and to prevent stroke.
- Vaccinations and antibiotics. These are used to prevent infections.
- Folic acid. This helps prevent severe anemia.
- This medicine helps reduce the frequency of pain crises and acute chest syndrome. It may also help decrease the need for frequent blood transfusions.
- Regular eye exams. These are done to screen for an eye condition called retinopathy. Have your child’s eyes checked each year.
- Stem cell transplant. Transplants can cure some children with SCD. Studies of this treatment are ongoing. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider. Transplants are only done at specialized medical centers.