A common disease that’s rarely talked about.
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a genetic blood disorder that affects millions of people around the world. Despite its prevalence, people born with SCD tend to suffer in silence. Cultural barriers and misinformation about SCD have contributed to its bad reputation. SCD is definitely not contagious. Nevertheless, many people mistakenly believe SCD is easily transmitted like other blood-borne illnesses such as Hepatitis C and HIV.
This disease affects all people differently and the severity of symptoms varies from person to person. SCD can be managed with medical treatment. Early diagnosis, regular medical care by a qualified doctor, and awareness of pain triggers all contribute to improved quality of life for patients living with SCD.
The Sickle Cell Foundation of Alberta (SCFA) is dedicated to creating awareness about SCD, advocating for funding for SCD research and providing support services to patients living in Alberta, their parents and caregivers.
Sickle Cell Disease is a genetic blood disorder. It is inherited when offspring receive the sickle cell trait from both their biological parents... read more
Children are born with Sickle Cell Disease, but they may not show symptoms until after their fetal hemoglobin is depleted... read more
Sickle Cell Disease affects millions of people from around the world, especially those whose ancestors descended from... read more
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BACKGROUND: Newborn screening provides early diagnosis for children with sickle cell disease (SCD), reducing disease-related mortality. We hypothesized that rapid point-of-care (POC) Sickle SCAN would be reliable in Haiti and would assist newborn screening. METHODS: Dried blood specimens were obtained from infant heel sticks and analyzed by isoelectric focusing (IEF) at a public hospital in …
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It’s only been seven years since scientists first learned how to precisely and reliably splice the human genome using a tool called CRISPR, making it possible to think about snipping out disease-causing mutations and actually cure, once and for all, genetic diseases ranging from sickle cell anemia to certain types of cancer and even blindness. …
Most red blood cells are round in shape - like a disc - so they can easily flex through blood vessels of all sizes. Sickle cells are not like normal red blood cells. They have abnormal hemoglobin which causes red blood cells to become misshapen, hard and sticky. These C-shaped cells get their name from a farm tool called the “sickle”, which is a similar shape.
You inherit the disorder from your biological parents. The disease is only passed on genetically when offspring receive the sickle cell trait from both biological parents. It is present for life.
It is the most common genetic blood disorder world-wide. Despite this, many people – including doctors, nurses, and school teachers – aren’t familiar with this disease.
Sickle cells die quicker than healthy, red blood cells. For this reason, red blood cells in someone living with SCD are in constant short supply. A sickle cell patient will tire more easily, become dehydrated more quickly, and is prone to frequent pain crises and serious infection.
A simple blood test called the hemoglobin electrophoresis can be done by your doctor. This test will tell if you are a carrier of the sickle cell trait, or if you have the disease. New born babies can also be screened for sickle cell disease.
A person with sickle cell trait carries one sickle hemoglobin producing gene and one normal hemoglobin gene. Normal hemoglobin is called type ‘A’ and sickle hemoglobin is called type ‘S’. Sickle cell trait is the presence of hemoglobin ‘AS’ on the hemoglobin electrophoresis. This will NOT cause sickle cell disease.
SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 365 Black or African-American births.
SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic-American births.
About 1 in 13 Black or African-American babies is born with sickle cell trait (SCT).