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 state.
The signs and symptoms of SCD can vary greatly from person to person, even within the same family and can change over time. Major features and symptoms of sickle cell anemia may include: painful swelling of the hands and feet, known as dactylitis, anemia, frequent infections, vision problems, and severe occurrences of …show more content…
This critical complication causes chest pain, fever, and dyspnea. ACS can originate from a lung infection or by blockage of sickle cells in the blood vessels. People with asthma or prior ACS occurrences have a higher risk of attaining it. This complication is the most common death for adults with sickle cell anemia. Once the sickle cells have blocked blood flow, an organ is deprived of blood and oxygen. Since oxygen levels are harshly low in the blood, chronic deficiency of oxygen-rich blood can damage nerves and organs such as the spleen, kidneys, and liver. As a result, organ damage occurs, which can be fatal.
Another complication is the production of gallstones. Once the red blood cells are broken down, it produces a substance called bilirubin. A high level of bilirubin can to lead to gallstones. Most men with sickle cell anemia can experience painful, lost-lasting erections, called priapism. This condition can occur spontaneously or from certain antidepressants or erectile dysfunction drugs. Like other parts of the body, sickle cells block the flow of blood to the blood vessels in the penis. This can lead to the damage of the penis and eventually to