Sickle Cell Anemia

Sarah Rosenberg & Michael Crookshanks

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What is Sickle Cell Anemia?

  • 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.
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Genetic Disease

  • Both parents must have an abnormal hemoglobin trait to have a child with SCA.
  • If both parents have trait there is a 1 in 4 (25%) chance that each baby will have SCA.
  • 1 in 8 persons of African or Caribbean descent have sickle cell trait.
  • Also found in Hispanics, and persons from India, the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
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Gabby's Story

Gabby is currently 12 months old and has been experiencing different medical reactions. She cried two times as much as a normal baby and showed many signs of being in pain. Her mother Susan noticed that Gabby's feet and hands were swollen on a daily basis. Gabby was very prone to infections. She was not growing at the normal rate of other babies in her class. Susan got worried and took her to the doctor. She was then diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia. The doctor told Susan to give Gabby the antibiotic penicillin until she is at least 5 years old. This helps prevent infections, such as pneumonia, which can be life-threatening to an infant or child with SCA. The doctor also told her to give Gabby pain killers if she every was in too much pain. Bone marrow transplant is the only potential cure for sickle cell anemia. But finding a donor is difficult and the procedure has serious risks associated with it, including death.

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Works Cited

Staff, Mayo Clinic. "Sickle Cell Anemia." Symptoms. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 1998. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.

"What Is Sickle Cell Disease?" William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund – About Sickle Cell Disease. N.p., 2008. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.