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Splenic Sequestration Crisis in Children


Splenic sequestration crisis (SCC) is a complication of sickle cell disease (SCD). During SCC, sickled red blood cells (RBC) get stuck in your child's spleen. This causes the spleen to swell. It also decreases the number of RBCs in your child's body (severe anemia). SCC may be triggered by an infection. SCC is a life-threatening emergency.


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) for any of the following:

  • Your child has trouble breathing.
  • Your child loses consciousness or cannot be woken.
  • Your child is lethargic (moves very little and is extremely weak).

Call your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child's symptoms return.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Prevent SCC:

  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Your child may need medicine to help his or her body make red blood cells that are less likely to sickle. This may help prevent SCC.
  • Give your child liquids as directed. Liquids can help prevent dehydration. Dehydration can increase your child's risk for SCC. Ask how much liquid to give your child each day and which liquids are best for him or her.
  • Feel your child's spleen if he or she has abdominal pain, yellow skin or eyes, or a swollen abdomen. Your child's healthcare provider will show you how to feel your child's spleen. The spleen will get bigger if RBCs are stuck there. Seek care immediately if your child's spleen feels larger than normal. Early treatment can prevent more problems or damage to your child's spleen.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.