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Sickle Cell Trait

(25 Posts)
HappyMumof2 Mon 15-May-06 13:59:23

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Blu Mon 15-May-06 14:09:32

HMo2 - yes DP is sickle cell trait - and in fact we found out when he was in for a minor op.

He had been asked at my ante-natal booking appt if he was positive, and he had said no. He is of Indian / Asian background, and at that time only people of African/Caribbean descent were being tested. I went to visit him following a v minor op under GA, and had to wait, and wait, and wait, and was horrified when he came back all hooked up to oxygen etc, and they explained that they had discovered from late blood tast results that he was sickle cell trait, and that they wanted to keep him in for blood pressure monitoring etc etc.

We were horrified - DS had 4 GAs as a baby, and may well be trait, too.

However, if it is known in advance, it can be allowed for, and afaik, trait only poses a v slight risk for GA...and in fact DP has had GSs before without them realising, and no harm has come to him. I think the risk for trait is slight - it might compromise the amount of oxygen in the blood - but if they know they can keep it monitored and addressed without risk.

I think it is more complicated for sickle cell disease.

It turned out that my MIL knew all along that she was trait...but failed to mention it, throughout DS's ops. And she is a trained nurse....

bummer Mon 15-May-06 14:10:12

Myself and son have been and have been fine just be sure the medical staff are ALL aware. The trait is not life threatening but the precautions are just that precautions. My ds was nearly 3 years old at the time. They just keep you on oxygen for a bit longer than normal just to be safe. I used to have some very good leaflets on the subject many years ago if I can find anything informative and not frightening I will come back to you. Hope all goes well.

HappyMumof2 Mon 15-May-06 14:17:34

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HappyMumof2 Mon 15-May-06 14:22:04

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bummer Mon 15-May-06 14:24:40

Tell the staff what you saw. Don't worry about fussing and making sure they know about sickle cell trait. Staff don't always talk to each other but hopefully it will be on the front or head of your ds's notes. Like I said oxygen is needed as a precaution as far as I am aware and they do make sure you are on it for longer than is the norm. It's nice because you wake up to really nice fresh oxygen.

HappyMumof2 Mon 15-May-06 14:26:38

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Blu Mon 15-May-06 14:29:46

HMo2 - yes, it is horrible putting a child into a GA - sorry, I had missed that it was your DS rather than DP having the op, but although it is horrible, it isn't as bad as you expect.

How old is your DS?

The aneasthetist will come and speak to you before you go down to theatre. Specifically tell the aneasthetist that your DS is trait positive - it is the aneasthetist who deals with the precautions re oxygen etc, and s/he will re-assure you

If he is v young, ask the aneasthetist if ds can ge knocked out with gas first. It can be v difficult to find a vein for a canula in v small children, and so that is better done once they are asleep. If he is older, they will put 'magic cream' on the back of his hand half an hour before. this numbs the area, and also brings the vein up and the canula can go in without trouble.

They will probably allow you to stay with DS until he is unconscius - you will be given a gown and cap, and go with him. It is VERY emotional seeing your little one become unconscious and the worst moment of the whole thing is leaving them on the trolley.

Be sure you have asked the ward staff exactly where you should wait - as soon as he is in recovery and beginning to come round they will call you to be with him.

Have someone to wait with you if you possibly can. It's awful until it is over, but once it is, you realise that it isn't that bad, and kids sail through it...the pain is all ours.

HappyMumof2 Mon 15-May-06 14:37:06

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4kids Fri 19-May-06 18:16:55

My dd has a trait she endured 3 ops last year after being hit by a car & this was also a worry 4 me as long as you tell them & it is noted in the files you should be fine.they give them a higher % of oxygen when they carry a trait as the cells can clump together & can cause a full blown sickle cell crises if the oxygen isnt given correctly i made sure i personally told the surgean myself about the trait before each op this way i new this wouldnt be overlooked.My dd came out fine each time it isnt a thing that needs to be worried about just make sure people are aware when it comes to operations & things also make sure your child is aware that they carry a trait when they are older.

HappyMumof2 Fri 19-May-06 21:23:13

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4kids Sat 20-May-06 10:39:10

My dd is fine now thanks. Dont worry about mentioning to all at hospital the more that know about it the less it will be overlooked. Dont worry about mentioning it in front of your son he needs to know sooner than later anyway.I always think its better kids know about things that concern them specially as its to do with his health . My dd was 7 when she was hit by a car thats when i told her about the trait & tried to explain to her the best i could.She didnt even batter an eye lid.How old is your ds is he old enough to be told?

Blu Sat 20-May-06 10:47:27

afaik, the anaesthetist is the most crucial person to tell - but yes, tell everyone!

And good luck. Will be thinking of you.

HappyMumof2 Sun 21-May-06 13:55:29

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4kids Sun 21-May-06 17:55:49

Everything will be fine its in a mothers nature to be concerned . kids are amazing they cope with things better than we think good luck.

HappyMumof2 Mon 22-May-06 13:49:54

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4kids Mon 22-May-06 16:31:43

Go prepared anyway i was told when visited by the sickle cell & thalasemia centre
when dd was a baby that it doesnt cause a problem only if ops are needed & when dd was hit by a car last year & she had her ops the oxygen levals were changed & monitered.

HappyMumof2 Mon 22-May-06 16:53:17

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4kids Mon 22-May-06 19:26:56

A lot of people even those who carry the trait know little about it(not everyone) so i wouldnt be suprised if the doc knows hardly nothing about it . I only know about the oxygen thing from being told when dd was little & then last year with her own op experiance.Maybe contact your local sickle cell & thalesemia centre for advice they know all there is to know about it.

4kids Mon 22-May-06 19:33:44

Its not the anaesthetic thats the problem with the ops it is the oxygen that they give they have to give a higher concentrate of oxygen than normal to stop the cells that are sickle shaped from clumping together & causing a sickle cell crisis.Apparently its one of the only times a trait carrier can experiance a sickle cell crisis.

4kids Mon 22-May-06 19:43:26

Just been on the sickle cell website & it is deffo the oxygen levals that need to be monitered
it says whenever there might be a shortage of oxygen like when scuba diving & during ops this is where problems can occur.Have a look it will put your mind at rest.

HappyMumof2 Tue 23-May-06 10:32:24

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Blu Tue 23-May-06 10:43:47

MMo2 - yes it is the oxygen levels that are a potential issue - but it is the aneasthetists job to monitor and administer all that alongside the aneasthetic. The aneasthetist stays monitoring throughout the operation.

I think it's good that you are getting all the factual info, but try and remember that trait is v different from the full sickle cell disease, millions of people in this country have it, and afaik, the risk in operations, particularly short ones, is very slight indeed - and they would deal with a fall in blood oxygen instantly, if it did happen.

You will get a chance to talk to the aneasthetist before the operation - they have always come and spoken to us and done their own check of the facts, anyway.

HappyMumof2 Tue 23-May-06 11:03:00

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Blu Tue 23-May-06 13:58:44

HMo2 - you need HoneyBunny - her DH is an aneasthetist! Just saw it on a thread about GAs under 'health'.

I do understand why you are anxious

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