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Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle Cell Anemia is the most common blood inherited disease in the United States, affecting about 72,000 Americans each year, and it has no cure.It commonly affects Hispanics and African Americans rather than Caucasians.It is classified as a disease in which the red blood cells become disfigured, causing pain throughout the body where the sickled cells are blocked. The red blood cells are usually disc-shaped, but in the event of Sickle Cell Anemia, they become crescent shaped and subsequently break down within the body.It is most commonly diagnosed during infancy.(www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?id=DS00324.html)
Sickle Cell Anemia is caused by an abnormal type of hemoglobin within the bloodstream called hemoglobin "S".This disease can only be inherited by receiving the hemoglobin "S" from both parents genetically.In other cases, when one receives the hemoglobin "S" from one parent, not both, they have inherited a sickle cell trait.If one inherits the hemoglobin "S" and abnormal hemoglobin from another parent, they will receive hemoglobin SC disease.But unlike sickle cell anemia, these abnormalities will only form little or no side affects. When someone has Sickle Cell Anemia, the red blood cells become long and rigid, instead of the normal shape of soft and round.This genetic error in the body forces the red blood cells to stick together after releasing oxygen. Thus, causing a blockage that limits the body's amount of oxygen within the bloodstream. (www.emory.edu/PEDS/SICKLE/sicklept.htm)
The signs and symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia vary from person to person.It all depends on the severity of each case.If any parent has the sickle cell trait, normally the infant is tested at birth. In the United States, 42 states have approved mandatory testing for Hemoglobin "S" in newborns.If it is not known to be in the family, the following symptoms help trace t…

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