Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a blood disorder. The shape of some red blood cells (RBCs) change to a sickle (crescent moon) shape. The sickle RBCs can block blood flow in blood vessels. This will slow or stop the flow of blood and oxygen to tissues and organs.
The body will also destroy these RBCs because they are abnormal. This means you have fewer overall RBCs. Low levels of RBCs is a condition called anemia. This makes it harder for the body to get the oxygen it needs.
Blood transfusions raise the number of healthy RBCs. Transfusions treat anemia. They also help with liver problems or stroke.
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) TOP
is currently the only cure. It's not right for everyone. A donor with matching blood proteins will be needed. This is most often found in a brother or sister.
There are also a number of medical risks involved. For one, the immune system will need to be suppressed for the rest of your life. This can increase the risk for other illnesses. HSCT may be considered in children who have had severe complications.
There is no way to prevent sickle cell disease. If you plan on having a family, talk to your doctor about genetic testing if you're at high risk. If you're pregnant, a prenatal test called
can detect SCD before birth.
Sickle cell disease. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at:
https://familydoctor.org/condition/sickle-cell-disease. Updated September 8, 2017. Accessed July 18, 2018.
Sickle cell disease. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated May 2018. Accessed July 18, 2018.
Sickle cell disease.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
website. Available at:
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sickle-cell-disease. Accessed July 18, 2018.
Sickle cell disease (SCD). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/index.html. Updated June 18, 2018. Accessed July 18, 2018.