Sickle cell disease affects 100,000 people in the United States and far more internationally. One of the most dangerous manifestations of the disease is acute chest syndrome, which involves a vicious cycle of erythrocyte sickling and respiratory failure. Acute chest syndrome can be a presenting feature upon hospital admission, it can arise as a complication of a vasoocclusive pain crisis, or it can occur as a complication from a surgical procedure. As such, we should always be on the lookout for this entity whenever caring for patients with sickle cell disease. COVID-19 is a particular threat that can cause acute chest syndrome, which may require especially aggressive management (e.g. early exchange transfusion).
The IBCC chapter is located here.
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