Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Sickle Cell Disease: Splenic Sequestration
Browse and register for related classes.
Splenic sequestration is a problem with the spleen that can happen in people who have
sickle cell disease.
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.
If splenic sequestration happens suddenly, it can be a life-threatening emergency.
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
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
Other Works Consulted
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health (2002). The Management of Sickle Cell Disease (NIH Publication No. 02-2117). Available online: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/blood/sickle/.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerMartin Steinberg, MD - Hematology
Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015
Current as of:
February 20, 2015
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin Steinberg, MD - Hematology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
250 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301
Contact Concord Hospital
View Quality Data
© 2016 Concord Hospital