WHAT IS SICKLE CELL?

Sickle Cell disease is a painful, potentially fatal disorder


Sickle cell disease, also called sickle cell anemia, is an inherited chronic disorder of the blood affecting the shape of the red blood cells. Normally disc shaped, the cells become crescent shaped, like sickles, and function abnormally.

 

Because the damaged red blood cells break down or the bone marrow fails to produce enough new cells, the disease causes anemia. As the abnormal red cells get stuck in blood vessels, patients can experience recurring episodes of pain, frequently centering the chest, arms and legs, or even life threatening strokes. Besides enduring painful attacks, afflicted patients can incur serious damage to their internal organs and are prone to frequent infections.

 

Since 1983, more than 2,000 Texas children have been diagnosed with sickle cell disease. Although approximately eight of every 100,000 people develop sickle cell disease, it is more prevalent in certain populations, affecting one in every 400 African Americans, and one in every 1,000 to 1,400 Hispanic Americans.

 

 

Who is affected?

Since 1983, more than 2,000 Texas children have been diagnosed with sickle cell disease. Although approximately eight of every 100,000 people develop sickle cell disease, it is more prevalent in certain populations, affecting one in every 400 African-American, and one in every 1,000 to 1,400 Hispanic-Americans.

 

What type of care is available for children who have sickle cell?

Texas Children's Hospital, the largest pediatric hospital in the United States, provides comprehensive care in a wide range of subspecialties. Baylor College of Medicine, the only private medical school in the southwest United States, is recognized worldwide for its sickle-cell-charity efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle cell disease, also called sickle anemia, is an inherited, chronic disorder of the blood affecting the shape of the red blood cells. Normally the disc shaped, the cells become crescent shaped, like sickles, and function abnormally. Because the damaged red blood cells break down or the bone marrow fails to produce enough new cells, the disease causes anemia.

 

Is it painful?

Yes, as the abnormal red blood cells get stuck in blood vessels, patients can experience recurring episodes of pain, frequently centering in the chest, arms, and legs or even life-threatening strokes.

 

 

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