Today is World Sickle Cell Day. Here is how you can be helpful to a friend suffering from the disease
What is sickle cell disease?
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of blood disorders typically inherited from a person's parents. The most common type is known as sickle cell anaemia. It results in an abnormality in red blood cells. This leads to a rigid, sickle-like shape under certain circumstances. Due to a lack of oxygen being transported throughout the body by red blood cells, sickle cell patients can quickly feel lethargic or experience sporadic crises.
What do you do during a sickle cell crises?
Sickle Cell crises might cause plans to be cancelled or days and nights to be cut short. Please be understanding. Try to avoid taking your friend with sickle cell outdoors in the rain or snow. Choose indoor social activities instead. If you’re an employer of a worker who has sickle cell, help to manage their workload. If they feel inundated or pressured at work, the stress could lead to a crisis, which means time away on sick leave. Remember that a sickle cell crisis causes crippling pain, so it likely will be one of your friend’s most vulnerable moments. Please protect their dignity!
What does a sickle cell crises look like?
It helps in knowing what a sickle cell crises looks like. Here are some warning signs to look for:
- chest pain
- shortness of breath (trouble breathing)
- belly pain
- an unusual headache
- any sudden weakness or loss of feeling
- slurred speech
- sudden changes in vision
Consider donating blood
One of the treatements for sickle cell diseases is regular blood transfusions. So, if you feel up to it, donate blood at your local blood bank.