Sickle-cell Anemia

Children today

Sickle-cell Anemia -

a severe hereditary form of anemia in which a mutated form of hemoglobin distorts the red blood cells into a crescent shape at low oxygen levels. It is most common among those of African descent.

How can it be detected?

People who do not know whether they make sickle hemoglobin (hemoglobin S) or another abnormal hemoglobin (such as C, β thalassemia, E) can find out by having their blood tested. This way, they can learn whether they carry a gene (i.e., have the trait) for an abnormal hemoglobin that they could pass on to a child.


In newborn screening programs, blood from a heel prick is collected in “spots” on a special paper. The hemoglobin from this blood is then analyzed in special labs.

Newborn screening results are sent to the doctor who ordered the test and to the child’s primary doctor.