Sickle cell disease (SCD) patients are not considered to be immunocompromised in the same way that individuals with conditions such as HIV or cancer are. However, SCD patients may be at increased risk of infections due to the nature of their disease.
Sickle cell disease can cause damage to the spleen, an organ that helps fight infections in the body. As a result, SCD patients may be more susceptible to infections, particularly those caused by bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. These infections can cause serious complications in SCD patients, including sepsis, meningitis, and pneumonia.
SCD patients may also be at increased risk of infections during hospitalization, as hospital-acquired infections can be more severe in individuals with compromised immune systems.
It’s important for SCD patients to take steps to prevent infections, such as getting regular vaccinations, practicing good hygiene, and seeking prompt medical attention for any signs of infection. SCD patients should also work closely with their healthcare providers to manage their disease and prevent complications.