What Is Sickle Cell Anaemia?

Signs and Symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia

If you are looking for an answer to the question: what is sickle cell anaemia? read on to discover the causes, symptoms, treatments, and complications of this genetic blood disorder. You can also learn about prenatal screening. You’ll find out how to get your child tested for this condition. Here are some steps to take to help you manage your condition. Before you start treatment, make sure you get a screening for sickle cell anaemia.


Acute episodes of sickle cell anaemia (AVN) can lead to stroke or heart failure. The sickle cells block blood vessels, preventing oxygen from reaching the brain. The symptoms of a stroke include numbness, seizures, weakness, and loss of consciousness. If left untreated, stroke or AVN may result in death. The most severe cases of AVN can cause a child to require crutches or prevent the weight from falling. Acute chest syndrome (ACI) is another symptom of sickle cell anaemia. Acute chest syndrome (ACL) can result from the disease. The blood vessels in the lungs can become blocked, causing chest pain and fever. The symptoms of acute chest syndrome are life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.

Prenatal tests to detect the presence of sickle cell haemoglobin can be performed on the unborn baby. This test, known as amniocentesis, can reveal if the child has sickle cell anaemia. The early detection of sickle cell anaemia reduces the risk of severe infections and complications. Genetic counselling may also be necessary for a child. Some patients may even be prescribed medications to treat the symptoms of sickle cell anaemia.


There are several treatments available to people suffering from sickle cell anaemia. These include transfusions, oxygen therapy, antibiotics, and pain medicines. They may also take folic acid supplements to help their bodies produce more red blood cells. Acute chest syndrome is another complication of sickle cell anaemia and may require hospitalization. Medications can help control the symptoms and prevent crises. Affected people can prevent the painful crisis by staying warm and drinking plenty of fluids.

Children and adults who suffer from sickle cell anaemia should be vaccinated against the flu and other diseases that can cause serious illness. The disease can also lead to damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye. A blood transfusion may be required in some cases to treat sickle cell complications and to prevent worsening anaemia. Other reasons for transfusions include the enlargement of the spleen and sudden worsening of anaemia.


While most children with sickle cell anaemia reach adulthood without requiring medical treatment, children with this condition can experience a number of serious complications. A very common complication is pulmonary fat-bone marrow embolism. This complication causes severe bone pain, hypoxia, and fever. The resulting tissue is composed of both fat and necrotic tissue. Symptoms of pulmonary afibolysis can range from mild to severe, but fortunately, most people with this disorder achieve normal height within their adulthood.

Some other painful complications of sickle cell anaemia include leg ulcers. These occur because the poor circulation of blood in the legs prevents the body from getting the nutrients it needs to heal. During childhood, healthy blood cells provide the legs with the oxygen needed for physical development. Another serious complication is delayed growth. The average age of puberty for an unaffected child is 11 years of age for girls and 12 years of age for boys.

Prenatal screening

Currently, Nigeria is home to one of the world’s largest populations of sickle cell anaemia patients. The disease manifests itself in the form of frequent aches and pains, recurrent infections, and hospitalization. A recent study investigated the impact of prenatal screening for sickle cell anaemia on health care providers and students at Lagos University Teaching Hospital. The study involved 403 health care professionals and included structured questionnaires.

During the first trimester, pregnant women may receive a blood test to determine if their child carries the sickle cell gene or not. If the screening is positive, the baby will need a follow-up blood test to confirm that the child does have sickle cell disease. The test results will be sent to a genetic counselor for further investigation. Patients may also undergo genetic counseling if they are carriers of the sickle cell gene.

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