SICKLE CELL DISEASE
Sickle cell disease is a hereditary blood disorder caused by abnormal haemoglobin found in red blood cells.
SUPPORTING STUDENTS MORE INFORMATION
Causes of sickle cell disease
- In people with sickle cell disease, the shape and texture of the blood cells can change.
- The cells become hard and sticky and are shaped like sickles, or crescents.
- The cells die prematurely leading to a shortage of red blood cells.
- This causes the symptoms of anaemia such as tiredness and breathlessness.
Symptoms of sickle cell disease
- If you have sickle-cell disease, your blood cells can get stuck when moving through small blood vessels, stopping the supply of oxygen to parts of your body.
- This is known as a 'sickle crisis'.
- This can cause pain, tissue damage, and can lead to other serious complications, such as a stroke, or blindness.
Treatment for sickle cell disease
- The only cure for sickle cell disease is a stem cell transplant.
- The symptoms of sickle cell disease can be treated and people with the condition can learn how to help prevent a sickle crisis from happening.
Common triggers of a sickle cell crisis
- Excessive temperatures
- Excessive physical activity
Supporting students with sickle cell disease
- Meet parents/carers and where available the Sickle Cell Clinical Nurse Specialist to draw up an Individual Healthcare Plan. This will include what to do in the case of a sickle cell crisis.
- Ensure all staff are aware of adjustments agreed to support the student make the most of school.
Fluid intake and temperature
- Allow students to have a water bottle available always.
- Allow students to use the toilet as required without fuss.
- During cold weather plan for the student to access an indoor space with some friends so they do not feel isolated.
- Meet with parents/carers and the student to plan support around their physical needs.
- Use of the school lift may be required
- Allow the student to set their own pace during PE lessons.
- If an outdoor PE session takes place on a cold day provide an alternative indoor PE activity.
- Following swimming allow time to get properly dry and to dress warmly.
- If a student is absent for more than 2 days email or post-school work home. Falling behind can cause additional stress.
- Allow time to catch up with missed work.
- Check in with a student on their return and help plan a catch-up schedule.
- If admitted to hospital contact the hospital school staff promptly with details of work.
- Consideration needs to be given to allow more frequent toilet stops on longer journeys.
- Find the location of the nearest Hospital Accident & Emergency department.
- Get information and permission for the administration of medication in case of a crisis.
Sickle cell diseasea information and advice on NHS choices Information advice and support from the Sickle Cell Society.
Sickle cell diseasea information and advice on NHS choices
Information advice and support from the Sickle Cell Society.