Essay On Sickle Cell Anaemia

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Sickle cell anaemia describes a hereditary autosomal recessive disorder that affects a protein found in red blood cells (erythrocytes) called haemoglobin. Erythrocytes contain about 280 million haemoglobin molecules that are composed of globulin protein and a heme molecule that binds to iron. Haemoglobin allows respiration of oxygen and exchange of carbon dioxide in blood, essential for all body systems. This disorder, determined at contraception, results in 100% of blood cells becoming sickle shaped, thus reducing or denying adequate oxygen transportation around the body. The co-dominant sickle cell disease entails half of the erythrocytes becoming sickle shaped and the remaining half as normal biconcave structures, hence, these people are carriers and …show more content…
Vaso-occlusive crisis occurs when microcirculation is constricted by sickled erythrocytes. The blockage occurs as sickled cells, created due to mutated haemoglobin forming valine at position 6, polymerise and prevent oxygen in the blood from flowing through veins, arteries and capillaries to undergo respiration. The resultant is an episode of acute pain due to the destruction of bone and visceral organs and an increase of pressure in the area as cellular respiration cannot occur. Lack of oxygenation causes subsequent cell death, creating ischemic tissue injury. This process causes gangrene and eventual paralysis as it involves chronic inflammation followed by the adhesion of white blood cells to damaged endothelium cells. The incidence of vaso-occlusive crisis is common in all patients with sickle cell anaemia as blood clots in smaller vessels such as capillaries occur, however, this symptom increases in likelihood when a person is dehydrated or requiring higher concentrations of oxygen, such as illness or exercise, as erythrocytes are further sickled and polymerised at low

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