Sickle Cell Disease: Review of Managements in Pregnancy and the Outcome in Ampang Hospital, Selangor
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Sickle Cell Disease: Review of Managements in Pregnancy and the Outcome in Ampang Hospital, Selangor

Authors: Z. Nurzaireena, K. Azalea, T. Azirawaty, S. Jameela, G. Muralitharan


The aim of this study is the review of the management practices of sickle cell disease patients during pregnancy, as well as the maternal and neonatal outcome at Ampang Hospital, Selangor. The study consisted of a review of pregnant patients with sickle cell disease under follow up at the Hematology Clinic, Ampang Hospital over the last seven years to assess their management and maternal-fetal outcome. The results of the review show that Ampang Hospital is considered the public hematology centre for sickle cell disease and had successfully managed three pregnancies throughout the last seven years. Patients’ presentations, managements and maternal-fetal outcome were compared and reviewed for academic improvements. All three patients were seen very early in their pregnancy and had been given a regime of folic acid, antibiotics and thrombo-prophylactic drugs. Close monitoring of maternal and fetal well being was done by the hematologists and obstetricians. Among the patients, there were multiple admissions during the pregnancy for either a painful sickle cell bone crisis, haemolysis following an infection and anemia requiring phenotype- matched blood and exchange transfusions. Broad spectrum antibiotics coverage during and infection, hydration, pain management and venous-thrombolism prophylaxis were mandatory. The pregnancies managed to reach near term in the third trimester but all required emergency caesarean section for obstetric indications. All pregnancies resulted in live births with good fetal outcome. During post partum all were nursed closely in the high dependency units for further complications and were discharged well. Post partum follow up and contraception counseling was comprehensively given for future pregnancies. Sickle cell disease is uncommonly seen in the East, especially in the South East Asian region, yet more cases are seen in the current decade due to improved medical expertise and advance medical laboratory technologies. Pregnancy itself is a risk factor for sickle cell patients as increased thrombosis event and risk of infections can lead to multiple crisis, haemolysis, anemia and vaso-occlusive complications including eclampsia, cerebrovasular accidents and acute bone pain. Patients mostly require multiple blood product transfusions thus phenotype-matched blood is required to reduce the risk of alloimmunozation. Emphasizing the risks and complications in preconception counseling and establishing an ultimate pregnancy plan would probably reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality to the mother and unborn child. Early management for risk of infection, thromboembolic events and adequate hydration is mandatory. A holistic approach involving multidisciplinary team care between the hematologist, obstetricians, anesthetist, neonatologist and close nursing care for both mother and baby would ensure the best outcome. In conclusion, sickle cell disease by itself is a high risk medical condition and pregnancy would further amplify the risk. Thus, close monitoring with combine multidisciplinary care, counseling and educating the patients are crucial in achieving the safe outcome.

Keywords: Anemia, haemoglobinopathies, pregnancy, sickle cell disease.

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