Skip to content

    Sickle Cell Disease: Acute Chest Syndrome

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Topic Overview

    Acute chest syndrome is a lung-related complication of sickle cell disease that can lower the levels of oxygen in the blood and can be life-threatening. Repeat occurrences of acute chest syndrome can cause lung damage. This condition develops more often in young children but is usually more severe in adults.

    Symptoms of acute chest syndrome can include:

    Recommended Related to

    Understanding Anemia -- Diagnosis and Treatment

    To diagnose anemia, your doctor will likely ask you about your medical history, perform a physical exam, and order blood tests. You can help by providing detailed answers about your symptoms, family medical history, diet, medications you take, alcohol intake, and ethnic background. Your doctor will look for symptoms of anemia and other physical clues that might point to a cause. There are basically three different causes of anemia: blood loss, decreased or faulty red blood cell production, or destruction...

    Read the Understanding Anemia -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

    Symptoms require emergency evaluation and treatment. Because a person with acute chest syndrome can deteriorate rapidly, a hospital stay is usually needed. Some cases are mild and will need little more than careful observation. More severe cases may need treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital.

    Although its cause is not fully understood, acute chest syndrome is more likely to develop after:

    Treatment of acute chest syndrome includes:

    • Encouraging deep breathing. This is especially important when a person has chest pain or drowsiness and shallow breathing from opiate medicine.
    • Receiving antibiotic therapy, oxygen, pain medicines, and blood transfusions.
    • Monitoring the amount of fluids being consumed, because fluids may build up in the lungs (pulmonary edema) during acute chest syndrome.
    1

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: 7/, 014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Sickle Cell Disease: Acute Chest Syndrome Topics

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    No gym workout
    Moves to help control blood sugar.
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    acupuncture needle on shoulder
    10 tips to look and feel good.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    pacemaker next to xray
    Treatment options.
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.