Acute Splenic Sequestration Crisis PDF Print E-mail
Health Care Providers - The Child with Sickle Cell Disease


The spleen is normally a small organ located on the upper left side of the abdomen under the rib cage. When sickle cells are trapped in blood vessels inside and leading out of the spleen, the normal flow of the blood is blocked. Blood stays inside of the spleen instead of flowing through it. This is called sequestration, As a result, the blood count falls and the spleen gels very large and is easy to feel,

If the spleen suddenly enlarges with a significant drop in the blood count, this is a serious and potentially life-threatening problem. When the spleen gradually gets larger over several weeks, the blood count does not change much, so it is not as serious. Any enlargement of the spleen is of concern and must be watched for changes. Parents should know how their child’s spleen normally feels, so that whenever the child seems sick they can check the spleen to see if it is bigger. If the spleen suddenly becomes larger, the child should he checked by a physician immediately. If the blood count is dangerously low from sequestration, blood transfusion may he necessary. Recurrent episodes are common, and a splenectomy (removal of the spleen) is sometimes required.


Babies and young children with Sickle Cell Anemia are at greatest risk of splenic sequestration. After age five years, the spleen becomes smaller and in most cases it cannot enlarge any more. Children with Sickle C Disease usually experience this complication after the age of five years.


Origin and Distribution of Sickle Cell Disease, Genetics, Sickle Red Blood Cells, Infections ,Splenic Sequestration, Pain, Chest Syndrome, Aplastic Crisis, Strokes, Gall Stones and Jaundice, Growth and Development, Retinopathy, Priapism

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 June 2010 14:51
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