What is Sickle Cell Anemia Sickle cell anemia is a serious disease in which the body makes sickle-shaped red blood cells. “Sickle-shaped” means that the red blood cells are shaped like a "C."
#1 is normal and #2 is a sickle cell
Anemia is a condition in which your blood has a lower than normal number of red blood cells. This condition also can occur if your red blood cells don’t have enough hemoglobin.
Sickle cell anemia is when your body produces abnormally shaped red blood cells. The cells are shaped like a crescent or sickle. They don't last as long as normal, round red blood cells, which leads to anemia. The sickle cells also get stuck in blood vessels, blocking blood flow. This can cause pain and organ damage.
Sickle cell A genetic problem causes sickle cell anemia. People with the disease are born with two sickle cell genes, one from each parent. If you only have one sickle cell gene, it's called sickle cell trait. About 1 in 12 African Americans has sickle cell trait. A blood test can show if you have the trait or anemia. Most states test newborn babies as part of their newborn screening programs.
People who inherit a sickle cell gene from one parent and a normal gene from the other parent have a condition called sickle cell trait. Sickle cell trait is different from sickle cell anemia. People who have sickle cell trait don’t have the disease, but they have one of the genes that cause it. Like people who have sickle cell anemia, people who have sickle cell trait can pass the gene to their children.
People with sickle cell conditions make a different form of hemoglobin A called hemoglobin S (S stands for sickle). Red blood cells containing mostly hemoglobin S do not live as long as normal red blood cells (normally about 16 days). They also become stiff, distorted in shape and have difficulty passing through the body’s small blood vessels. When sickle-shaped cells block small blood vessels, less blood can reach that part of the body. Tissue that does not receive a normal blood flow eventually becomes damaged. This is what causes the complications of sickle cell disease.
More than 70,000 Americans have sickle cell anemia. And about 2 million Americans — 1 in 12 African Americans — have sickle cell trait, which means they carry a single gene for the disease and can pass this gene along to their children, but do not have the disease itself.
WORK CITED http://kidshealth.org/teen/diseases_conditions/blood/sickle_cell_anemia.html# http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sicklecellanemia.html