Sickle Cell Anemia Genetic Disorder

Hannah Olander 4B

What Is Sickle Cell Anemia?

Sickle Cell Anemia is a serious disorder in which the body makes sickle-shaped (crescent shaped) red blood cells which blocks blood flow in the blood vessels of the limbs and organs. This can damage organs and raise the risk for infection.


Genetic Transmission

Sickle Cell Anemia is a lifelong disease that is inherited. People that are born with it have two genes for sickle hemoglobin; one from each parent. If a child inherits one sickle hemoglobin from one parent and a normal one from the other parent, the child will have the sickle cell trait. This means they have the gene but not the disease.

Sources:

"What Is Sickle Cell Anemia?" - NHLBI, NIH. 19 Jan. 2014 <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sca/>

"Google Images." Google Images. 21 Jan. 2014 <http://images.google.com/>

Symptoms/Diagnosis/Frequency

Some symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, coldness in hand or feet, and a yellowish color of the skin or whites of the eyes. Sickle Cell Anemia is diagnosed by a simple blood test. Early diagnosis is very important. This disease is extremely common. More than 70,000 Americans have sickle cell anemia. About 2 million Americans carry the sickle cell trait.

Sources:

"What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia?" - NHLBI, NIH. 19 Jan. 2014 <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sca/signs.html>

"How Is Sickle Cell Anemia Diagnosed?" - NHLBI, NIH. 20 Jan. 2014 <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sca/diagnosis.html>

"Sickle Cell Anemia." KidsHealth - the Web's most visited site about children's health. Ed. Robin Miller. 01 Sept. 2012. The Nemours Foundation. 19 Jan. 2014 <http://kidshealth.org/teen/diseases_conditions/blood/sickle_cell_anemia.html>

"Google Images." Google Images. 21 Jan. 2014 <http://images.google.com/>



Life Expectancy & Treatments

Someone with Sickle Cell Anemia is expected to live up into their mid forties. This is a huge increase keeping in mind that around 1973, the life expectancy was just 14 years of age. Sickle cell anemia has no widely available cure. But treatments can help relieve painful symptoms, prevent organ damage and strokes, and it also controls the complications. Regular medical care is need for people diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia. There are special clinics designed for this purpose. Also, some people choose to get blood and marrow stem cell transplants as a cure but it is quite expensive. Severe sickle cell anemia can be treated with a medicine called hydroxyurea. Mild pain often is treated with over-the-counter pain medicines, heating pads, rest, and plenty of fluids. More severe pain may need to be treated in a day clinic, emergency room, or hospital.

Sources:

"FAQ." Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. 21 Jan. 2014 <http://www.sicklecelldisease.org/index.cfm?page=faq>


"How Is Sickle Cell Anemia Treated?" - NHLBI, NIH. 21 Jan. 2014 <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sca/treatment.html>

"Google Images." Google Images. 21 Jan. 2014 <http://images.google.com/>





Interesting Facts

  1. Sickle Cell Anemia affects African Americans more than any race.
  2. It reduces the risk of Malaria.
  3. It's a chronic disease, but curable.
  4. A woman with sickle cell anemia can have a healthy pregnancy.

Sources:

"Five Sickle Cell Anemia Facts You Should Know About." Zipheal. 21 Jan. 2014 <http://www.zipheal.com/sickle-cell-anemia/five-sickle-cell-anemia-facts/1604>

"Google Images." Google Images. 21 Jan. 2014 <http://images.google.com/>