Indexed on: 03 Feb '07Published on: 03 Feb '07Published in: Southern medical journal
Women with sickle cell anemia are surviving longer and may desire pregnancy. Rare, life-threatening complications of sickle cell anemia, such as acute chest syndrome, may occur at the time of delivery. A 22-year-old woman with sickle cell (HbS/beta+ thalassemia) at 35 weeks of gestation presented with shortness of breath and generalized pain. She was diagnosed with vasoocclusive crisis and acute chest syndrome, managed with exchange transfusion and cesarean delivery, and discharged home with her newborn one week later. Prompt recognition of life-threatening complications of sickle cell anemia in a pregnant woman and collaborative medical and obstetric management are essential to optimize maternal and fetal outcome.