Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle Cell Disease is a life threatening disorder in which the body makes sickle-shaped red blood cells. Sickle shaped means that the red blood cells are shaped like a crescent. Normal red blood cells are disc shaped that look like a doughnut without a hole in the center. Sickle cells contain abnormal hemoglobin, and sickle cells are stiff and sticky and tend to block blood flow in the blood vessels of the limbs and organs.
Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder that affects more than 72,000 Americans, primarily those of African heritage, but also those of Arabian, Asian, Caribbean, Indian, Mediterranean, and South and Central American ancestry.
The most common types of sickle cell disease are SS, SC, and S beta thalassemia. Sickle cell disease is a lifelong condition that may result in serious health problems such as pain crises, anemia, organ damage, infection, lung disease, and stoke.