Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) Deficiency – Treatment and Prevention of G6PD Deficiency

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is a condition that mainly affects red blood cells. It is a condition in which G6PD enzyme is not sufficient for proper functioning of red blood cells. Hence, red blood cells get destroyed and the condition is called hemolysis. It is an inherited disorder and males are mostly affected. G6PD deficiency is also a cause of jaundice in infants.

Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency Treatment
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency cannot be diagnosed in most of the conditions. To diagnose and confirm the condition, doctors perform blood test. This test is known as RBC G6PD test or G6PD screening.

  • Blood is drawn from a vein, generally near the back of the hand or inside of the elbow.
  • The area is wiped with an antiseptic to avoid any infection.
  • The doctor then ties an elastic band around the upper arm.
  • The vein thus swells due to the pressure on that particular area.
  • A needle is gently inserted into the vein.
  • Required quantity of blood is collected in the vial from the needle.
  • The needle and elastic band are removed. Even the punctured area is covered to stop any further bleeding.

In small children and infants, lancet is used instead of needle to draw the blood. The blood is collected in a slide or a test strip.

The symptoms that accompany G6PD deficiency are treated by eliminating the cause of the condition. The best way to treat the child is to limit exposure to factors that may lead to G6PD deficiency. General treatments involve:

  • Stopping the use of a certain drugs that had caused red blood destruction
  • Medicines to treat the infection and any illness
  • In severe cases, transfusion of healthy blood cells is done
  • Hospitalization in some cases where in fluids and oxygen are supplemented

Prevention of Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency

  • Individuals with G6PD should avoid being exposed to infections, stop taking medications, etc., that may cause the condition. Always be careful that medications you take should be prescribed by the medical professional.
  • Couples or individuals with a family history of G6PD deficiency should go for genetic counseling if they are planning for a baby so that the necessary steps can be taken to prevent the condition.

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