Over 100,000 people in the U.S. suffer from Sickle Cell Anemia. Under certain conditions the blood cells sickle or change shape. Vaso-occlusive crisis is the main condition that is unpredictable and the leading cause of debilitating pain and multi-organ damage.
Once the red blood cell sickles it can clog up in the blood vessels which deprive the tissues and vital organs of oxygen. Patients often experience excruciating pain, most commonly in the joints but it can occur anywhere in the body. Pain can be triggered by stress, changes in temperature, infection, illness and dehydration.
Pain crisis and infection are common problems that are treated in the hospitals by way of Emergency Rooms, Ambulatory Care Centers and Outpatient Specialty Clinics.