Sickle Cell Questions and Answers

Sickle Cell Questions and Answers

What is sickle cell disease? What are the symptoms of the disease? What about pain episodes? How can I tell if I have the trait? Read on to learn more. Despite the similarities between the diseases, they are vastly different. To help you understand the symptoms and what you can do about them, we have put together some of the most common questions that people with sickle cell disease have. We also have information about the different types of treatments for sickle cell disease.

Disease causes anemia

If you have Sickle Cell Disease, your blood will not produce enough red blood cells. These abnormal cells are broken into pieces too easily and are destroyed within ten to twenty days. Normal red blood cells live for about 120 days and are made of different components. Those that are sickled will live for about ten to twenty days, making the disease a major cause of anemia. It can lead to a shortage of red blood cells and hemoglobin. It also causes difficulty producing new red blood cells.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder that causes abnormal red blood cells. It affects approximately 100,000 people in the United States. People who are of African descent are more likely to have this disease, as it is associated with a gene that provides partial protection from anemia. However, people from any race may also develop sickle cell disease. If you are a carrier of the sickle cell gene, you should seek medical attention for the disease as soon as possible.

Damage to organs

Sickle cell disease affects any organ in the body. It begins in childhood, and one of the first organs to experience damage is the spleen. Children diagnosed with SCD are started on antibiotics for infection prophylaxis at an early age. The condition is associated with increased risk of certain infections, which can cause further damage to organs downstream. Acute hemoglobin can accumulate in the spleen and travel to other areas of the body.

Red blood cells that have normal hemoglobin are disk-shaped, flexible, and smooth. This allows them to move through blood vessels easily. However, sickle blood cells are stiff, sticky, and form a sickle shape when they lose oxygen and become stuck in small blood vessels. This blocks the blood flow and can cause pain. Eventually, people with this disorder may die from infections. This condition is inherited and may run in families.

Pain episodes

Children with sickle cell disease (SCD) can experience a variety of symptoms beginning as early as a few months of age. Fortunately, many children will display very few symptoms if treatment begins early. One of the most common symptoms of SCD is a pain episode known as a sickle cell crisis. During a crisis, blood vessels become blocked and can last for seven days on average. Here are some tips for dealing with this pain episode.

Acute painful sickle cell episodes may occur infrequently, less than once a year. However, patients may experience intense pain several times per week. The pain can vary in intensity and duration, and may lead to serious complications, including multiorgan failure. While most episodes can be managed at home, hospitalization is sometimes necessary. The goal of treatment is effective pain control. Patients who need to be hospitalized should be assessed and given appropriate analgesia.


If you or someone you love has the sickle cell trait, you are at an increased risk of having a stroke. The sickle cell trait can block major blood vessels that supply oxygen to the brain. Because the brain needs oxygen to function properly, the interruption of this blood flow can cause severe damage to the brain. People with sickle cell disease are also at a higher risk of having a second stroke. Here are some questions and answers you should ask your doctor about sickle cell disease.

What are the risk factors for stroke in sickle cell patients? Some researchers suggest that age may be a risk factor. According to a review of five major studies, 80% of patients with cerebral vascular complications were younger than 15 years of age. This may reflect the fact that sickle cell disease is more common in people who are younger than 15.

Hemoglobin S

People with sickle cell anemia have an abnormal protein in their blood called hemoglobin S. There are three different forms of sickle cell anemia: SC, Hb SS, and sickle beta-zero thalassemia. Of these three, SS is the most common and has the poorest prognosis. Hemoglobin S is a chromosomal abnormality.

Patients with COVID-19 respiratory failure benefit from a reduction in hemoglobin S. Generally, a reduction in sickling is desirable for patients with COVID-19 respiratory failure. Whether or not to perform a reduction in sickling depends on the patient’s acuity, availability of appropriate red blood cell units, and the feasibility of RBC exchange apheresis. In general, a hemoglobin level of 10-12 g/dL provides maximum oxygen carrying capacity.


If you have sickle cell disease, you may be wondering whether hydroxyurea is right for you. This medication has many ideal characteristics for this type of disease and has been studied in a variety of patients, including adults, adolescents, infants, and severely affected children. It has been shown to significantly reduce the number of episodes of pain and improve overall quality of life in patients with sickle cell disease.

While the drug has several beneficial effects for people with sickle cell disease, the most important benefit is the reduction of red blood cell counts. Hydroxyurea increases packed cell volume and F cells, lowers neutrophil and reticulocyte counts, and improves erythroid hydration. It also inhibits cytokine production and decreases adhesion molecules. In addition, hydroxyurea is known to decrease the amount of sickle cells.

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