Sickle cell disease Splenic sequestration (1573)

Key points below

What is splenic sequestration?

The spleen is a small organ on the left side of the body under the rib cage.  Normally you cannot feel it. Blood goes in and out of the spleen. When blood gets trapped in the spleen, the spleen gets bigger. This is called splenic sequestration.  It will cause your child’s red blood cell level to be lower.

What are the symptoms of a spleen problem? 

What is splenomegaly?

Sometimes, an enlarged spleen is called a splenomegaly.  It occurs slowly when the spleen gets bigger with very little change in the blood counts.  It is not the same as splenic sequestration. There may also be occasional stomach pain.  This must be watched carefully and you will need to feel the spleen so that you can tell when it is getting bigger.

What happens in the hospital?


Call the doctor, nurse, or the Sickle Cell Clinic if you have any concerns or if there are special health care needs not covered by this information.

If the patient is weak, pale, has a large stomach or you can feel the spleen, go the Emergency Department right away. Tell the staff about the Sickle Cell Disease.

  • Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM:  Call the Sickle Cell clinic:  (414) 266-2420,   Ask to talk with a nurse.  
  • After hours, weekends or holidays. Call (414) 266-2420. You will be transferred tot he operator if your call is urgent.  Ask for the hematologist on call to be paged.