Managing Sickle Cell Pain With Music Therapy Essay

Managing Sickle Cell Pain With Music Therapy Essay

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Cowan, in her article, Managing Sickle Cell Pain with Music Therapy writes to inform and educate readers on sickle cell disease and various techniques to manage the stresses and pain that come along with it. According to the author, sickle cell disease is a hereditary and recessive gene that is prevalent among the African-American population. Because it is recessive, a child can have the disease, only if both parents carry the sickle cell gene. Red blood cells in sickle cell patients are mutated into an “S” shape differing from normal red blood cells which are round and concave in shape and oxygenated. Sickle cell disease causes the cells to become hard, inflexible, and weak which causes them to break easily and release oxygenated protein content into plasma during crisis. As a result, the patient has an insufficient supply of hemoglobin and becomes anemic.
During this time of crisis, the entire blood flow in the circulatory system is affected due to capillary and vessel obstruction with abnormal shaped cells. Blood supply can be cut off which in turn deprives the body of normal oxygenation. The decrease of oxygen supply leads to hypoxia and the body tries to compensate for poor oxygenation by sending in a natural inflammatory response which leads to a sensation of severe body pains. If blood supply is not restored in time, cellular tissue damage could occur, and vital organs such as the liver and kidney may be affected. When this happens, patients are hospitalized in order to support life and maintain homeostasis.
Patients with sickle cell disease are given prophylactic and diagnostic medications such as folic acid, antibiotics, blood transfusions, and occasionally, chemotherapeutic agents. According to the Cowan, even though s...


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...home can help the patient prevent being hospitalized again. It also allows the patient to spend less time away from home and school, gives the patient less opportunity to develop a dependency on narcotics, and allows the patient to have a form of control over what they experience due to their disease. It is important that children are taught how to manage their disease and the pain that comes with it while they are at a young age so that they can have positive outcomes. The article shows the importance of musical therapy as a health resource in the management of patient’s health.
My understanding is that music therapy can help improve upon medical treatments. Music helps patients to relax which allows them to respond to their treatment properly. The techniques of music therapy can help patients reduce stressors and anxiety and allows them to have a meaningful life.

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