March 01st, 2020
Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease is a red blood cell disorder where you inherit the sickle hemoglobin gene from a parent. You can detect SCD in the womb by testing the amniotic fluids surrounding the fetus. It causes your cells to deter from their usual shape getting caught on the walls of tiny blood vessels, building up and sticking together. This disease has a high incidence rate in African American persons, the sickle cell trait incidence in newborns are 73.1/1,000 persons. Overall the incidence rate for births overall in 2010 was `5.5/1,000 persons. Signs of SCD change over time, and vary from person to person. The most common signs of sickle cell are: fever, yellow tint to skins or the whites of eyes, pale skin and nail beds. Pain can strike at any time in the lower back, legs, arms, chest, and abdomen. Other signs of SCD include blood in urine, and a painful swelling of hands and feet. Symptoms are fatigue and fussiness due to anemia, having low oxygen levels in the body. To determine if a person has SCD a blood test will be done to check if Hemoglobin S is present, and anemia levels. Treatment options range from NSAIDS for pain, hydroxyurea to produce fetal hemoglobin, vaccinations like the flu shot to prevent infections, antibiotics so the child does not get an infection like pneumonia, red blood cell transfusions, to increase the number of regular red blood cells in motion and prevent other complications, bone marrow transplant for children ages sixteen and under.
Mayo Clinic. Sickle Celle Anemia. (2016, December 29). From https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sickle-cell-anemia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355882
National Institute of Health-National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. What is Sickle Cell Disease? (2017, August 10). From https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sca
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