Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle Cell Anemia is an inherited form of anemia, a condition in which there isn’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry sufficient oxygen throughout your body. Normally a person has flexible and round blood cells. With Sickle Cell anemia, Hemoglobin molecules in red blood cells, that carry oxygen in the body, are defective causing some of the red blood cells to change and form a sickle, or crescent moon shape.
Pain: The sickle cells are sticky and get stuck, clump ...view middle of the document...
Hand Foot Syndrome: sickle cells can dam block the blood flow out of the hands and feet causing the hands and feet to become swollen. It’s sometimes one of the first signs of Sickle Cell Anemia in babies.
Jaundice: If the liver becomes overwhelmed by the breakdown of sickle cells, it can be damaged, causing Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Sickle Cell Anemia is a genetic disease which can only be caused by both parents passing the sickle cell gene down to their offspring. About 2 million Americans carry the Sickle Cell gene but don’t have the disease. If two people with the gene marry, there’s a one in four chance that their children can end up having the disease. The gene is common with African, Spanish, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian people. In the United States, Sickle Cell Anemia affects 1 in every 500 African American children born, and 1 in every 900 Hispanic children born.
A blood test can check for hemoglobin S, the gene that causes Sickle Cell Anemia. Sickle Cell Anemia can also be diagnosed in an unborn baby by sampling some of the amniotic fluid to look for the sickle gene. In the United States, the test is part of a routine newborn screening, but older children and adults can be tested too. If the screening comes out positive, the doctors will perform a test to find out if the person has one or two sickle cell genes by determining how much of a percentage of gene is present. People with a small percentage of the gene present have one gene and basically have the sickle cell trait. People with a large percentage of the gene present have two genes which is defined as the sickle cell disease. Once diagnosed, the doctor will perform a test called a red blood cell count to check for anemia. The doctor also might refer the patient to a genetic counselor.
The only cure to Sickle Cell Anemia would be a bone marrow transplant, but treatment is preferred since...