Sickle Cell Disease Emergency Guide

It is very important that every person or family with a young child with sickle cell disease have a plan for how to get help immediately, at any hour, if there’s a problem. Be sure to find a place that will have access to your medical records or bring a copy.

Do You Use the Emergency Department for Care of SCD?

Go to an emergency room or urgent care facility right away for:

  • Fever above 101° F
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal (belly) swelling
  • Severe headache
  • Sudden weakness or loss of feeling and movement
  • Seizure
  • Painful erection of the penis that lasts more than 4 hours

Call a doctor right away for:

  • Pain anywhere in the body that will not go away with treatment at home
  • Any sudden problem with vision

Download and print our emergency guide tip sheet [PDF – 2 MB]