Sickle Cell Anemia Essay

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Sickle cell anemia is a genetic blood disorder that causes normal red blood cells to form into an irregular shape, called sickled-cells. The sickle cell gene causes the body to produce abnormal hemoglobin. After a while, the hemoglobin will then cluster together anywhere in the body causing the blockage of blood flow through the blood vessels. This blockage deprives the tissues and blood of oxygen which can lead to many difficulties and problems. SCD becomes life-threatening when the damaged red blood cells begin to breakdown, when the spleen does not work properly or at all, or when it is unable to prevent infections from coming in. Approximately 100,000 Americans have SCD. Most with SCD are of African ancestry. About 1 in 13 African American …show more content…
However, infants do not appear to have any signs of difficulties from the disease until they are about 5 or 6 months of age. The reason affected infants do not show any signs or develop any symptoms in the first few months of life is due to the hemoglobin produced by the developing fetus. The production of the hemoglobin protects the red blood cells from sickling. However, by the fifth or sixth month of life, the fetal hemoglobin is lacking, therefore, the sickling of red blood cells becomes prominent and symptoms begin to appear. As a result, it is required that all newborn babies are to receive a screening for sickle cell anemia in every …show more content…
It has to originate from somewhere. So what causes sickle cell anemia? What truly causes SCD is the abnormal hemoglobin, called hemoglobin S. In general term, sickle cell anemia is caused by a mutation in the gene that creates hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the iron-rich compound that gives blood its red color. This results in the production of sickle hemoglobin. Hemoglobin allows red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to the body. However, in sickle cell anemia, the abnormal hemoglobin sticks together and forms long poles that damages and changed the shape of the red blood cell. The rigidness of the sickle cell can’t be used for oxygenation and deoxygenation. Therefore, when oxygenation decreases, the red blood cell takes the form of the sickle shape. This causes the cell to block the blood flow through the narrow blood vessels. This prevents the cell from carrying oxygen to the tissues, resulting in tissue cell

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