Sickle Cell Disease Essay

1261 words - 6 pages

Sickle Cell is a disease that affects many people in the world today. It is the number one genetic disorder in the United States. Sickle Cell is deficient hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is what functions in providing oxygen to the cells in the body. The sickle shape comes from the atypical hemoglobin s molecules. Hemoglobin molecules are composed of two different parts called the alpha and beta. The beta subunit of the hemoglobin molecule has a mutation in gene, on chromosome 11 which produces the change in the red blood cell shape causing them to die and not reproduce accurately. The change in shape causes the red blood cells to get stuck in the blood vessels and block the effectiveness of oxygen transport causing pain and organ damage to the body. This disease does not have a cure and some common treatments are used to help patients live with the disease. Some treatment options are antibiotics (penicillin) to prevent infections, blood transfusions, folic acid that help produces new blood cells. These are just some of the current treatments for Sickle Cell.

Some of our population may be more at risk then others due to the ethnic background. This diseases is more prominent in some races more than others and studies have shown where the numbers increase or decrease depending on the race. Decedents of Africa, India, the Mediterranean, South and Central America and the Caribbean have a higher percentage of diagnoses. Countries who are exposed to the malaria parasite have the higher number of Sickle Cell cases. The percentage of African Americans with sickle cell is about 1 in 500 and a percentage 1 in 1,000 to 1,400 in Hispanic Americans. People of Caucasian race are less likely to have the diseases because of the history of the diseases and where it comes from. Sickle Cell originated mostly from countries like Africa and past down to ancestors and other neighboring countries leaving the Caucasian race with the lower percentage of diagnosed cases.

The question of socio economic class is always at the fourth front of these types of diseases. In some studies at the Lagos University teaching Hospital there is mention of some rural areas receiving less information and treatment because of where they live. In other studies it was also found that children linked to parents in elite status were healthier in weight compared to those in a non-elite status. The nutritional status of these patients was affected by the socio economic position held. In a study conducted by the Help association in Atlanta Georgia it was identified that people of lower economic class at a higher federal poverty level did not receive the same types of treatments for patients with SCD (Sickle Cell Disease) vs. those in other socio economic classes. Parents and guardians of children with SCD were confronted with barriers when needing treatment because of their socioeconomic class and troubled history. The Studied suggested that Patients with SCD should not be exposed to...

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