No sickle cells or pain to zap child’s sparkle

  Article taken from The St. Louis American, written by Sandra Jordan The fact that Gabby Carter of Cape Girardeau, Missouri can go to school and play just about like any other child her age is nothing short of extraordinary. She received a cord blood stem cell transplant last summer at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. It was her best chance at a cure for the debilitating complications of sickle cell anemia. With this hereditary blood disorder, normally round red blood cells, that contain the iron-rich hemoglobin protein that carries oxygen throughout the body, are sickle-shaped. Those irregularly shaped cells become stiff and sticky and tend to block blood flow in the vessels, organs and limbs, resulting in oxygen restriction and painful crisis episodes, strokes, organ damage and ultimately, an early end of the lives of its sufferers. Shalini Shenoy, M.D., director of pediatric stem cell transplantation program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis, said all indications pointed to Gabby not having a good outcome if she had not received the life-saving procedure. “She was on chronic transfusion therapy for multiple complications, the most severe of them was involvement of her central nervous system; she was at risk for future strokes and debilitating disease and early mortality,” Dr. Shenoy said. “And the other organs that she’s had trouble with, as many patients do – the lungs and pain crises. Thes...
Source: Cord Blood News - Category: Health Medicine and Bioethics Commentators Authors: Tags: blood disorder Cord Blood parents pregnancy stem cells sickle cell anemia Source Type: blogs