Other treatments

There are no controlled data on the benefits of oxygen, although this is commonly used. Hydroxyurea, which has been shown to ameliorate painful crisis frequency in a selected group of severely affected patients, may be useful in selected cases although it has potentially serious side-effects and should not be used without careful monitoring. It is also a long-term prophylactic measure and should not be used for short-term acute treatment. Transfusion is commonly employed without good reason, and some patients are placed on chronic transfusion regimens to prevent painful crises. It is likely that the long-term complications of such treatment far outweigh the short-term benefits.

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