Sickle Cell Anemia

What it is?

Who it affects?

How it affects people?

Do you need help with it?

How to treat it?

Definition according to National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI):

Sickle cell anemia is a disease passed down through families. The red blood cells which are normally shaped like a disc take on a sickle or crescent shape. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body.

Sickle Cell affects the red blood cells (crescent shaped ones) and it is easier to suffer from blood clots


The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) states Sickle Cell Anemia affects 70,000- 100,000 people in the United States

The disease occurs in about:

1 in every 500 African American Births (NHLBI)


1 in every 36,000 Hispanic American Births (NHLBI)

Every year another 1,000 babies of any race are born with Sickle Cell Anemia (NYTimes)


Sickle Cell Anemia symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Paler than normal
  • Jaundice

You could also experience pain in the bones, lungs, abdomen, and joints. This pain could last anywhere from hours to months (NHLBI).

Medical Complications


  • Hand-Foot Syndrome
  • Splenic Crisis
  • Infections
  • Acute Chest Syndrome
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Eye Problems
  • Priapism
  • Gallstones
  • Ulcers on the legs
  • Multiple Organ Failure



Medical Discoveries

If pain is occurring due to sickle cell anemia the answer could be as simple as you are dehydrated and need to drink water at a reasonable rate to rehydrate.

If pain continues to occur than it is because your body is going through a crises.

The only treatment that has cured Sickle Cell Anemia is a bone marrow transplant. They are very dangerous and typically result in the receiver dying. People with Sickle Cell Anemia typically try to calm down their crises and treat the symptoms! (Mayo Clinic)


  • Antibiotics
  • Pain-relieving medications
  • Hydroxyurea- reduces the need for blood transfusions
  • Oxygen Machine

If you need help

go to or call...

Sickle Cell Disease Scientific Research Group, Division of Blood Diseases and Resources, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Two Rockledge Center, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, 301-435-0055

Lauren D. Beck Sickle Cell Foundation P.O. Box 1286 Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061

Johns Hopkins Hospital Young Adult Support Group,

ages 17-22 years 410-614-0833


Board, A. (2014, February 24). Sickle cell anemia. Retrieved February 5, 2015, from

Sayre, C. (2011, June 29). What You Need to Know About Sickle Cell Disease. Retrieved February 1, 2015, from

Sickle cell anemia. (2014, June 11). Retrieved February 5, 2015, from

Who Is at Risk for Sickle Cell Anemia? (2012, September 28). Retrieved February 1, 2015, from

(2011, June 1). Retrieved February 4, 2015, from

Comment Stream