Sickle Cell Anemia

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Sickle cell anemia is an inherited, lifelong, blood disorder disease, which is passed down through families. It is described as “sickle-shaped” for the strange appearance of the red blood cells (RBC). The red blood cells, which are normally shaped like a discs, takes on a sickle or crescent shape, therefore called sickle-shaped. Sickle cells have irregular hemoglobin, called sickle hemoglobin or hemoglobin S. Sickle hemoglobin is what causes the cells to develop a sickle, or crescent shape. This inherited blood disorder is one of the different types of anemia; the condition in which your blood has lower RBC’s than normal. You cannot catch this disease, for the person must be born with it by inheriting two genes for sickle hemoglobin—one from each parent. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease, however, treatments to improve the anemia and lower problems, can help with the symptoms and difficulties of this disease in both children and adults. There are now improved treatments and care that helps people who have sickle cell anemia live longer. Sickle cell disease (SCD) was first described in 1910 (Frenette & Atweh, 2007). SCD has existed in Africa for at least five thousand years and has been known by many different names in many different tribal languages; although, it was actually discovered in the United States. Walter Clement Noel, from the island of Grenada, was a dental student that was studying in Chicago. He complained about complications like pain, and symptoms of anemia, to search for answers he confided in Dr. James B. Herrick. Dr. Herrick was actually a cardiologist and was not interested in his case, so he was redirected to another doctor. This doctor named Dr. Ernest Irons, examined Mr. Noel and discovered ho... ... middle of paper ... ...ies, new concepts, and future promise. J Clin Invest, 117, 850–858. Retrieved on March 4, 2014 from Sickle cell anemia. (2012). In Mosby's dictionary of medicine, nursing, & health professions. Retrieved from Sickle cell anemia. (2011). In The American Heritage Science Dictionary. Retrieved from What Is Sickle Cell Anemia. (2012). National Institutes of Health. Retrieved on March 4, 2014 From