Jacquelyn Sayikanmi. Understanding Sickle Cell Disease.

1191 WordsMar 31, 20175 Pages
Jacquelyn Sayikanmi Understanding Sickle Cell Disease Introduction Sickle cell disease (SCD) occurs in 1 out of every 365 African American births compared to 1 out of 16,000 Hispanic-American births (1). SCD is a group of red blood cell disorders in which patients have a sickle or moon-shaped red blood cell due to an abnormal S hemoglobin. While sickle cell disease is relatively rare in American births, this is an alarming statistic among people of Sub-Saharan (west and central) African descent. An interesting fact is that SCD occurs more often among people from parts of the world where malaria is or was common, such as Sub-Saharan Africa (1). In addition, it is believed that people who carry the sickle cell trait are less likely to have…show more content…
The impeded blood flow also causes swelling of the patient 's hands and feet. In addition, the abnormal shaped red blood cells cause damage to the spleen, an organ that helps fight against infection (4). Subsequently, patients are more susceptible to contracting infections that require antibiotics and/or vaccinations. As mentioned earlier, red blood cells are produced in the long bones of the human body. The long bones are the bones that contribute most to height; because the red blood cells are impaired, long bone growth is impaired and thus affects overall growth (4). Furthermore, some patients report vision problems as a symptom. Small blood vessels supply the eyes with blood and oxygen, because blood flow is impeded to small blood vessels, vision is impaired (4). If a person experiences these symptoms, they may be diagnosed with SCD. A blood test can be performed to confirm whether or not a person has SCD. A blood test can detect hemoglobin S, the form of hemoglobin that is attributed to sickle cell anemia (4). This type is test is usually performed as a part of newborn screening and similar tests may be performed in older children and adults. Prognosis SCD is an illness that a person will endure for their lifetime. Severity of the disease varies person to person, but most patients will be prescribed daily medications and have regular visits in the

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