Sickle Cell Disease

Also known as: SCD, sickle cell anemia.

What is sickle cell disease?

Sickle cell disease is a group of familial red blood cell disorders. The red blood cell carries hemoglobin, which is the protein inside red blood cells that helps the cells transport oxygen. The hemoglobin in sickle cell disease causes the red blood cells to be oddly shaped, and have difficulty flowing through the blood vessels properly which causes them to break up easily resulting in anemia. Moreover, this odd shape of the red cells cause them to get stuck in the small blood vessel and cause damage to the organs. Sickle cell anemia (SS) is the most common and severe form of sickle cell disease.

What causes sickle cell disease? 

Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder that is passed down from parents to the children.

What are the symptoms of sickle cell disease? 

Common symptoms of sickle cell disease in children can include recurrent pain episodes, fatigue, jaundice, tiredness and pale skin. It can also cause a stroke, learning disability, acute chest, gallstones, damage to the bones.

What are sickle cell disease care options?

Sickle cell disease cannot be cured. People with the disorder receive continuous care to prevent and manage the complications of the disease. These steps might include several medications, as well as education in looking out for and managing symptoms. The only cure for Sickle Cell disease is with Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation. 

Reviewed by: Kamar Godder, MD

This page was last updated on: 5/24/2018 10:44:47 AM

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