What Is Sickle Cell

Sickle Cell Anemia is a hereditary blood disorder that occurs among African-American, African, Middle Eastern, Latino, Asian, Indian, and people of Mediterranean decent. However, other ethnic groups can have sickle cell disorders.

Sickle cell anemia is the most common sickle cell disorder. Other forms are hemoglobin SC disease and sickle beta-thalassemia. These disorders can cause attacks that may include severe pain, high fever, and damage to body organs and tissues.

Sickle cell anemia may injure many body parts, especially the bones, central nervous system, lungs, liver and spleen. Some of the effects are: infections, jaundice, complications during pregnancy, leg ulcers and many other complications.

Many people living with these disorders lead productive lives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fact About Sickle Cell Trait and Disease

Why people are affected with this disorder?

An individual who has sickle cell anemia has inherited the sickling hemoglobin gene from both parents. When a person has too much of the abnormal hemoglobin S, it causes the cell to sickle, or change to a sickle-like shape.

If the cells become sickled, it may interfere with the flow of blood and clog the blood vessels. At that time a painful attack, called a "pain episode", may occur because the body tissues are deprived of oxygen. A sickle cell pain episode last several days.

Sickle Cell Anemia vs. Sickle Cell Trait

There is a big difference between sickle cell anemia and sickle cell trait. An individual with sickle cell trait will never get sickle cell anemia. However, they carry an abnormal gene that could affect their children.

It works like this

If each parent carries one normal hemoglobin gene and one sickling gene, a child of such parents has one chance in four of inheriting the sickling gene from both parents, thus developing sickle cell anemia. Persons who inherit the sickling gene from only one parent do not get sickle cell anemia, but they can transmit the abnormal gene to their children. Generally, a person with the sickle cell trait rarely, if ever, is affected. However, some people may experience problems where the oxygen levels are low or at high altitudes.

Is it treatable

Yes! Techniques presently used to control sickle cell disorders include medication, inclusive of special drugs, bone marrow transplants (if required), stem cell treatment and other treatments such as oxygen therapy, blood transfusions and IV therapy which helps to prevent dehydration.

There is hope! Extensive research is being conducted at this very moment to control and eradicate these disorders.