Sickle Cell Disease/ Anemia

What Causes It

The disease is a disorder of the blood caused by an inherited abnormal hemoglobin (the oxygen carrying the red blood cells.) When the person's body doesn't have enough red blood cells, that's called anemia. When the cause is a sickle shape, it is called sickle cell anemia/disease. The shape can get stuck, especially in small red blood vessels. (The picture to the right shows the sickle cell disease.)


You will have symptoms like:

pain in the joints

can be a sudden pain in the chest


extreme tiredness

low oxygen

unable to make urine and blood in the urine

shortness of breath

yellow skin or eyes

(The picture to the right shows what yellow eyes look like.)

Testings to Find Sickle Cell Disease

Taking a blood test to find a thing called hemoglobin S, kids and adults can take this test.

Who Can Be Affected

African Americans ( 1 out of 12 can carry sickle cell disease)

Hispanic Americans from Central and South America ( 1 out of 100 carry sickle cell disease)

People in Middle Eastern, Asian, Indian, and Medditerrian descent

Getting Sickle Cell Disease

This disease is inherited. You have to have both of your parents to have this disease. If you get only have one parent that has sickle cell disease, then you get something that is called sickle cell trait. It doesn't have any symptoms or problems. (The picture to the right show the sickle cell trait and how it works.)

Medical Assistance

You will need to see a doctor every 3 to 12 months, depending on your age. The doctor will:

Examine you

Give you medications

Take some tests on how you are

Teach families about your disease and what you should watch for


Bone marrow transplant- is the only cure to the sickle cell disease

Antibiotics- it helps fight off infections

Pain-relieving medication- to relieve pain during a sickle crisis

Hydroxyurea- taken daily to reduce the pain of a sickle crisis, but increases your risk of infections

Vaccinations- to prevent infections

Blood transfusions- it increases the number of red blood cells to relieve anemia

Supplemental oxygen- you wear a breathing mask and it's helpful when there is a sickle crisis

Chromosome Link

The sickle cell disease is linked to the 11th chromosome. There are 2,364 genes on the 11th chromosome. (The picture to the left shows what a chromosome looks like.)

Fun Facts

1. It is the most common genetic disorder in the United States.

2. It is not contagious

3. About 100,000 people have sickle cell disease in the United States including African Americans and Hispanic Americans.

Cited Websites

Sheil Jr., William C. "Sickle Cell Anemia: Learn About SCD Symptoms and Treatment." MedicineNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.

"Sickle Cell Disease." Stepwards. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.

"White Part of Eye Is Yellow, Causes in Newborn, Is It Bad, Meaning of Yellow Tinge Spot on Eye White Sclera." Home Remedies Org. N.p., 05 June 2015. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.

"Sickle Cell Anemia." Tests and Diagnosis. Mayo Clinic Staff, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.

"Sickle Cell Anemia." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic Staff, n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2016

"American Society of Hematology." Sickle Cell Anemia. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.

"Sickle Cell Anemia." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic Staff, n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

17 Mar. 2016.

"How Do People Get Sickle Cell Disease?" How Do People Get Sickle Cell Disease? N.p., 5 May 2002. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.

"How Is Sickle Cell Disease Treated?" - NHLBI, NIH. N.p., 19 June 2015. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.