Anemia is a condition in which there are not enough red blood cells to move oxygen throughout the body. Sickle Cell anemia is a condition in which the red blood cells in the body become rigid and sickle shapes.
Normal red blood cells last about 120 days: sickle cells only last 10-20. Sickle Cell Anemia is caused by a point mutation in a person’s DNA. This condition is also hereditary, which means it is passed from parent to child through generations of people. 1 in 12 African Americans have SCA. Red blood cells are usually round, flexible, and can move throughout the body easily. When a person has sickle cell anemia their red blood cells are shaped like a crescent moon or a sickle. This allows for the red blood cells to get caught or trapped in small blood vessels. When sickle cells get caught in the small blood vessels oxygen flow is decreased causing the patient many other medical issues.
Symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia are crises, infections, delayed growth, and visions problems. Crises are episodes of pain due to the lack of blood flow through the body. Crises usually happen in the abdominal area, joints, and chest area.
A person with Sickle Cell Anemia is also more susceptible to infections. Sickle Cell Anemia damages the organ in your body that fights off infections, your spleen. Delayed growth is a common side effect of Sickle Cell Anemia because red blood cells carry the necessary nutrients and oxygen a body needs to grow.
Vision problems are common in Sickle Cell Anemia patients because when the small blood vessels in the eye become blocked with sickle cells it can damage the patient’s retina, the part of the eye that creates visual images. As of right now a bone marrow transplant is the only cure for Sickle Cell Anemia, but there are high risks.VocabularyCell-The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Anemia-the condition of having not enough red blood cells or hemoglobin in blood . Crisis- the turning point for better or worse in a disease or feverHemoglobin-The oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells .Splenectomy-a surgical procedure to remove the spleen Morphine-A powerful narcotic that provides pain relief and other things to happen to the cnetral nervous system Analgesia-a class of drugs that are designed to relieve pain without causing the loss of consciousnessVicodin-a habit-forming compound derived from codeine prescribed for pain relief Ileus-Obstruction of the ileum or any other part of the intestine