Sickle Cell Anemia

By: Michelle Kim

HISTORY AND DISCOVERY

This disorder was discovered in 1910, even though this disease has been present in Africa for at least five thousand years and known by many tribes with different names that classified Sickle Cell Anaemia. “Discovery” in the United States was first uncovered when a man named Walter Clement Noel from the island of Grenada went to a cardiologist with complaints of pain intervals and symptoms of anemia. The cardiologist, with no interest, sent him to Dr. Ernest Irons who examined his blood under a microscope and saw how the cells were “having the shape of a sickle” and when the cardiologist re-saw this, he was interested and studied this new unknown disease. Many other doctors and scientist started to research after his paper in one of the medical journals.

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Diagnosis

This disorder can be diagnosed when a doctor takes blood from your body and screens it for hemoglobin S, which is the defective form of hemoglobin which are present in sickle cells. If it is present, then another in depth screening is done to see if there is one or two genes of sickle cell anemia. People who only have 1 has a small percentage of sickle cells called sickle trait, but with two genes there are much more and have a bigger percentage of defective hemoglobin. Hemoglobin - a red protein in blood cells which are responsible for transporting blood of vertebrates. This disorder is genetic as the child of the two parents can only receive this disorder if the genes passed down are both defective, which means both recessive. An automatism recessive pattern.


Signs

Signs of sickle cell are

  • Painful swelling of hands and feet

  • Anemia signs

  • Yellow, unhealthy looking skin

Symptoms

Symptoms of sickle cell are

  • Infections such as salmonella

  • Chronic Pain

  • Acute chest syndrome

  • Severe anemia

  • Pain which can strike in any part of the body

  • Kidney problems

  • Joint complications

  • Mental health

Treatment?

Treatments that could possibly get rid of this disease are only bone marrow transplant, but finding donors are EXTREMELY difficult as a wrong move in the procedure and transplant can mean death. There are more medications to relieve the pain or reduce the symptoms, such as antibiotics, pain relieving medications, blood transfusions, supplemental oxygen, stem cell transplant. There are experimental treatments going on right now, such as gene therapy.

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Internet Sources Recommendation

"Sickle Cell Anemia." Treatments and Drugs. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2015. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sickle-cell-anemia/basics/treatment/con-20019348>.

"Sickle Cell Disease, Sickle Cell Anemia, Blood Cells | Patient." Patient. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2015. <http://patient.info/health/sickle-cell-disease-and-sickle-cell-anaemia-leaflet>.

"What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease?" - NHLBI, NIH. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2015. <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sca/signs>.

"What Is Sickle Cell Disease?" - NHLBI, NIH. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015. <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sca>.

"Autosomal Recessive Disorders." Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/autosomal-recessive-inheritance-pattern/img-20007457>.

"Sickle Cell Trait." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 Sept. 2015. Web. 16 Dec. 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/traits.html>.