Sickel Cell Anemia Essay examples

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Sickle Cell anemia is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders, or a collection of recessive genetic disorders characterized by a hemoglobin variant called Hb S. Normal red blood cells are round like doughnuts, and they move through small blood tubes in the body to deliver oxygen. Sickle red blood cells become hard, sticky and shaped like sickles used to cut wheat. When these hard and pointed red cells go through the small blood tube, they clog the flow and break apart. This can cause pain, damage and a low blood count, or anemia. There is a substance in the red cell called hemoglobin that carries oxygen inside the cell. One little change in this substance causes the hemoglobin to form long hard rods in the red cell when it gives…show more content…
The spleen, acting as a policeman, traps and destroys many of the abnormal sickle cells, resulting in rapid turnover of red blood cells and chronic anemia. This anemia results in fatigue and a number of the following problems;pain episodes, strokes, susceptibility to bacterial infections, particularly in children, leg ulcers, bone damage, yellow eyes or jaundice, early gallstones, lung blockage, increased infections, kidney damage and loss of body water in urine, painful erections in men, blood blockage in the spleen or liver, eye damage, low red blood cell counts (anemia), and delayed growth. Each year in the US, an average of 75,000 hospitalizations are due to sickle cell disease, costing approximately $475 million. Sickle cell disease is also associated with significant mortality. Among children, the primary causes of mortality are bacterial infections and stroke. In adults, it is more difficult to attribute specific causes to mortality, but it appears that individuals with more indicative disease are at risk for early mortality. Tremendous advances in detection and treatment mean that most patients now survive to adulthood, many into their 50s and 60s and beyond. Some patients lead fairly normal lives, attending school and work with only occasional pain episodes and only slowly progressive organ damage.

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