Sickle-cell Anemia

By: Demetrius Johnson May 13, 2016 A2

Definition

A condition in which there aren't enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout the body.

Causes of Sickle-cell Anemia

  • Caused by mutation in the gene that tells the body to make hemoglobin.
  • Abnormal hemoglobin causes red blood cells to become rigid and misshapen.
  • A child acquires it through inheriting the disease from a parent who has the genes from the disease.

Disease Prevention

The disease can be prevented by asking the doctor to do blood tests for sickle cell anemia gene and couples meeting with a genetics counselor to reduce the risk of children inheriting the disease if they are at risk for it.

Symptoms/Effects

  • Lack of good supply of red blood cells.
  • Periodic episodes of pain.
  • Babies have swollen hands and feet.
  • Slowed growth in children.
  • Vision problems.
  • Children might have frequent infections.

Effects

  • Sickle cell anemia can lead to a stroke.

  • People can suffer from high blood pressure.

  • Can cause acute chest syndrome which is life-threatening.

  • The disease can lead to oxygen deficiency which could be fatal.

Sickle Cell Diagnosis

The disease can be diagnosed during pregnancy by using a sample of amniotic fluid in the mother's womb and the newborn is screened after birth for the disease with a blood test for hemoglobin S, which is the sickle cell anemia gene.

Treatment Options

  • Only cure is a bone marrow transplant which is a serious procedure and could possibly cause death.
  • Children with sickle cell anemia can take antibiotics to prevent infections.
  • To relieve pain, use pain-relieving medications.
  • Take Hydroxyurea to reduce blood transfusions needed with sickle cell anemia
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Bibliography (Works Cited)