Splenic sequestration happens when a lot of sickled red
blood cells become trapped in the
spleen. The spleen can enlarge, get damaged, and not work as it should. When
the spleen doesn't work well, a person is more likely to have serious,
life-threatening infections with certain types of bacteria.
You could be out for a run or drifting off to sleep when it happens: The muscles of your calf or foot suddenly become hard, tight, and extremely painful. You are having a muscle cramp.
Sometimes called charley horses -- particularly when they are in the calf muscles -- cramps are caused by muscle spasms, involuntary contractions of one or more muscles. In addition to the foot and calf muscles, other muscles prone to spasms include the front and back of the thigh, the hands, arms, abdomen, and muscles...
If splenic sequestration happens suddenly, it can be a life-threatening emergency.
Who is affected by it?
This condition is more common in infants and young children who have sickle cell disease. It may follow a respiratory infection.
In older children
and adults, the spleen often does not work because of years of damage from sickled
What are the symptoms?
Splenic sequestration causes sudden and severe
anemia, with symptoms of sudden weakness, pale lips,
rapid breathing, excessive thirst, belly pain, and rapid heartbeat.
If you have a baby or young child who has sickle cell disease, you will check your child's spleen to see if it's larger than normal. Your child's doctor can show you how to check for it. A suddenly enlarged spleen requires emergency medical
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
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