What is Sickle Cell Disease?
Have you been tested for Sickle Cell Disease? If not, you can ask your doctor for blood tests called “Hemoglobin Electrophoresis and CBC.” Otherwise, there is no way to know if you carry a trait that could be passed down to your children possibly giving them sickle cell disease or a related red blood cell disorder.
Millions of people do not know they have sickle cell trait. This is because trait usually does not cause illness. If you and your partner both have sickle cell trait, there is a 25% chance with EACH pregnancy that your child could be born with sickle cell disease.
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10 Things You Should Know about Sickle Cell Disease
- Sickle cell disease is the most common genetic blood disorder in the country.
- It affects almost all races, not just African Americans.
- You can’t “catch it”- you’re born with it.
- Sickle cell anemia is the most common form of sickle cell disease.
- Blood tests called “Hemoglobin Electrophoresis and CBC” are needed to determine whether you have sickle cell trait or a related red blood cell disorder.
- Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to become hard and “sickle” or banana shaped which makes them block the flow of blood.
- Blocked blood vessels cause pain, damage to organs and tissue, or even a stroke.
- Some people with sickle cell anemia need frequent blood transfusions.
- You can help by becoming a blood or bone marrow donor.
- The only cure for sickle cell disease is a bone marrow transplant.
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