Sickle Cell Anemia
By: Tori Salefski
-You will learn what Sickle Cell Anemia is and how a person gets the disease.
-You will learn about the symptoms and side effects of Sickle Cell Anemia.
-You will learn how Sickle Cell Anemia is treated.
-You will learn how you can help someone with Sickle Cell Anemia.
What is Sickle Cell Anemia?
The national Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) defines Sickle Cell Anemia as "When the body makes sickle-shaped red blood cells. “Sickle-shaped” means that the red blood cells are shaped like a crescent."
Example of a Sickle Cell:
How does someone get Sickle Cell Anemia?
Sickle Cell Anemia is a inherited disease that a person gets when they inherit two of the genes, one from each parent. When a person gets Sickle Cell Anemia the blood cells have more hemoglobin in the cell then normal.
What is hemoglobin and how does it deal with Sickle Cell Disease?
The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) states "Hemoglobin is a iron rich protein that helps red blood cells carry oxygen from the air in our lungs to all parts of the body."
What are some of the symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia?
The NHLBI states that some of the symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia are:
- Cold Feet and Hands
- Jaundice; The yellowing of the skin
- Paler skin especially around the mucous membrane (The lining of the body cavities.)
What are some of the side effects from Sickle Cell Anemia?
The NHLBI states that some of the side effects from Sickle Cell Anemia are:
- Acute Chest Syndrome
- Eye Problems
- Hand-Foot Syndrome
- Multiple Organ Failure
- Pulmonary Hypertension
- Splenic Crisis
- Ulcers on the Legs
What are some treatments of Sickle Cell Anemia?
The SCDAA says the biggest things to help with treatment is early intervention. If a newborn has Sickle Cell Anemia some of the treatments are:
- Folic Acid Supplementation
- Penicillin Prophylaxis
- Vaccination against Pneumococcus bacteria
Some treatments for non-newborns with Sickle Cell Anemia are:
- Blood Transfusion
- Intravenous Fluids
- Pain Management
If you would like more information I would recommend you visit the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America's website. The main location for the SCDAA is in Baltimore Maryland, and the toll free number to call for more information is 800.421.8453
One of the biggest ways that you can help a person with Sickle Cell Disease is to donate blood through the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross also wants you to spread the word that Sickle Cell day is on June 19 of each year.
Video and Links About Living with Sickle Cell Disease: