Sickle Cell Patients, Pain and Pneumonia

One day, while advocating for a patient diagnosed with Sickle Cell, a Respiratory Therapist shared with me and the patient so much about the relationship of Sickle Cell Patients and Pneumonia!

Moreover it's really about Pain Patients and Pneumonia!!

When patients have pain, their breathing slows down. When that happens the mucus that the body makes naturally, stores that mucus in the lower lung lobes.

The mucus in there then becomes hard and sticky! Sounds familiar?  Just like the blood that turns into a Sickle Cell!!! 

As the patient continues to breathe shallowly, more mucus forms and settles in the lower lung lobes!!!

So what needs to be done?

Well, for some reason I've always told patients to relax and breathe!!!  Why?  I don't know.

However, the patient cannot always do what is suggested, so an X-ray will determine if a patient has developed an Pneumonia. BUT, if the patient is put on the Respiratory Floor/Ward they can be given, and should be given when diagnosed with Pneumonia, Respiratory Therapy!!! 

This involves moisturizing the esophagus, the inner lungs, and the mucus!!!

The moisture will soften and loosen the mucus so it can be expelled by coughing up and taking the antibiotics will also remove the mucus!

Well, there you have it!

I did not know this before, but in hindsight, I can better advocate and educate this fact on behalf of our Sickle Cell Community Members Diagnosed and Pain Patients!"

 ~Nita Thompson, The KIS Foundation SCD Community Liaison / Advocate