Sickle Cell Anemia is a genetic blood disorder that affects millions of people across the world. In the United States it affects approximately 72, 000 people, most of whose ancestors come from Africa. Sickle Cell Anemia occurs in about 1 in every 500 African-Americans births and 1 in every 900 Hispanic American births. Children are born with Sickle Cell when their parents either have the disease or carry the genetic traits for the disease.
Abnormal hemoglobin found in the blood of people with sickle cell, alters the shape of red blood cells, changing some of them from the usual round shape to a crescent or sickle like shape.The sickled shaped cells carry less oxygen than normal red blood cells and they also can become stuck in the blood vessels.The restriction of the blood flow can cause anywhere from mild discomfort to major debilitating pain crises.
Actor Larenz Tate
Guest Blogger: Willie Agee
Growing up with Sickle Cell, I have been in and out of the hospital throughout my life. Lots of 3a.m. trips to the Emergency Room. Prevention is the key to living with Sickle Cell. Drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, staying away from overly strenuous activities, keeping your oxygen level high, and quickly taking care of any infections. The smallest sniffle could eventually turn into a stay in the hospital if one is not careful. Pain crises are treated with intravenous pain medicine, intravenous fluids to rehydrate the body and sometimes blood transfusions to replenish the body with normal red blood cells. It is so important to have people around you who support and encourage you when you have sickle cell and I want to thank my good friend Titus J. for utilizing his blog to help increase awareness for Sickle Cell Anemia. You can find more information at http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/index.html and http://www.sicklecelldisease.org/ .