Sickle Cell Essay

897 words - 4 pages

Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease where the red blood cells in the body are produced abnormally by bone marrow as crescent shaped red blood cells. Unlike normal red blood cells, sickle shaped cells are unable to deliver much oxygen to other parts of the body due to the abnormal hemoglobin. Sickle cell’s are stiff and sticky and tend to clump together between blood vessels that can cause pain, damage to the organs, and infections. If a child inherits this disease they can be healthy throughout their life or need special care. “In the United States, SCD is most common among blacks and Hispanics. SCD affects about 1 in 500 black births and about 1 in 36,000 Hispanic births in this ...view middle of the document...

Sickle cell disease occurs when the hemoglobin molecule loses its ability to attach oxygen to itself and changes the healthy red blood cells into a crescent shape. The crescent shaped red blood cells can’t squeeze through the tiny capillaries, which creates a blockage preventing the organs and tissues from receiving any oxygenation. Many patients start feeling pain when an area of the body stops receiving oxygen and this destroys the organs or tissues. The body then becomes acidic when sickle cells start increasing and causes the disease process to speed up. Sickle cells have a life span of 10-20 days while normal blood cells have a life span of 90-120 days. When sickle cell count increases the body has to push harder to develop normal cells but the body can’t keep up, which then causes sickle cell anemia.
When a newborn baby is born they have to go through a blood, hearing, and heart screening to check for any chances of inheriting sickle cell disease. A drop of blood is taken from the baby’s heel and collected to send to the lab for testing. If detected early on infections can be prevented and increase the chances of survival for the newborn. Symptoms gradually appear during the first year starting off with a fever, swelling of hands and feet, pain in the chest, and nosebleeds associated with upper respiratory infections. As they grow older the symptoms can progress into fatigue, irritability, and jaundice.
Treatment for sickle cell disease assists to relieve pain that provides additional protection by reducing complications and preventing infections. Patients with this ailment strive to get in touch with doctors that are specialized in blood disorders. Many...

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