A Change of the Blood
Sickle Cell Anemia is a blood disorder which is passed down from parents to a child. Many people have Sickle Cell Anemia in the U.S and around the world. These people have a wide variety of symptoms, varying from semi-severe to life threatening problems while others live with little to no recognizable symptoms.
Sickle Cell Anemia is caused by a genetic mutation in the hemoglobin inside of red blood cells. The mutation occurs in the hemoglobin gene on the 11chromosome. The mutation causes the red blood cell to get deformed in to a rod shape similar to a farmers Sickle, hence the name. Sickling of the red blood cells is when the cell polymerizes into rigid rods that alter the shape allowing them to get trapped in small blood vessels. (Laberge, p3) The sickle cell disease can help reduce the chance of the malaria in the patient, by the sickle cell dyeing faster than malaria can take effect. Sickle Cell Anemia is an autosomal recessive disease. The chance that a new born baby will have the disease is dependent on the parents and whether or not they have the trait or disease. If both parents have the disease or trait the child has a 25% chance to have Sickle Cell Anemia. The child also has a 25% chance to not have the disease or trait at all. There is also a 50% chance that the child just has the trait, which causes no health problems, but allows the disease to get passed on to the next generation.
Sickle Cell Anemia can drastically affect someone’s way of life in many ways. From early childhood and the rest of your life, you will be at the mercy of modern medicine to ease you of your pain and ward off infections. The disease is also life threatening, people with this disease suffer from strokes, severe infections, and splenic sequestration as well as organ damage. People who have the Sickle Cell disease on average live a shorter life than people without. People who have sickle cell anemia live on average to 50-60 years (WebMD, 2014) Stroke affects around 10% of children with sickle cell disease. (WebMD, 2014)
According to “The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute” (2009), it is estimated that about 70,000 people have Sickle Cell Anemia in the United States. About 2 million people have the trait in the U.S., though the disease manly affects African Americans, (about 1 out of every 500) the disease can also affect Hispanic Americans (1 in about 36,000). People whose ancestors are from the Mediterranean countries, Africa, India, and The Middle East are at a higher risk to have Sickle Cell. Though you do not have to be one of these races to have the sickle cell disease, these are the most common though.
Though Sickle Cell Anemia affects many people throughout the world there is not a cure for it. There are medications that that start when the child is very young. Penicillin is used for children to try to prevent infections that could be lethal; vaccines are also used to decrease the potential for...