Sickle Cell Disease Sickle cell disease affects the Red blood cells. Red blood cells use protein to carry oxygen from lungs to the entire body. Sickle cell disease is caused from an irregular gene in the chromosome 11 Beta subunit of hemoglobin protein. This causes the Red blood cells to develop incorrectly, and become sickle and sticky. The sickle shape of the Red blood cell causes it to become stuck in the capillaries. This cause patient to go into crisis which is very painful.
The shape of Red blood cell also causes lack of oxygen to be carried to organs such as spleen, liver, kidneys, lungs, and heart. This lack of oxygen cause damage to the organs. Some other symptoms are delayed growth, jaundice, and even strokes. The majority of babies in the hospital at birth. The first sign of Sickle Cell Disease in infants are Hand-Foot Syndrome. This syndrome causes painful swelling in the hands and feet. In the United States 1 out of 500 African American babies have Sickle Cell. It is more common in Africa, India, Caribbean Islands, Middle East, and Mediterranean.
This mutated gene causes patient to be more resistant to Malaria. This is disease is very common in these countries. Sickle Cell is a recessive gene pattern. The child can only receive this disease if both parents are carriers. If both parents are carriers they may also have a normal child, a carrier child, or a child with Sickle Cell. If a person is aware they have Sickle Cell carrier it is important to share this information with family. There is varying knowledge of disease depending on the country.
Some people do not find out they are a carrier until their child has Sickle Cell disease. Babies are tested at birth , but if not they can have hemoglobin electrophoresis to determine if patient is carrier or has Sickle Cell disease. Genetic testing is also done during pregnancy along with testing for Down’s syndrome. Patients maybe referred to genetic counseling due to family history.
Doctors encourage Sickle Cell disease patients to stay well rested, hydrated, and avoid physical exertion. Patients are prescribedFolic Acid-to help build newRed Blood cells. Patients may be given blood transfusions or Bone Marrow transplant in severe cases. Hydroxyurea is also now used to increaseNew Red Blood Cell. Most patient live 30 years less due to Organ damage. Most children have normal lives if they avoid infection by tacking prophylactic antibiotics and getting immunizations. There are a lot of social issues for teens with keeping up with homework and social life due to frequent hospitalization and doctor appointments. They may miss important test or just time with friends.
There are ethical issues because 60% of children are on Medicaid. Once these children make adulthood they have difficulty finding providers that take Medicaid and treat Sickle cell disease. Genetic Science Learning Center. (2014, February 15) Single Gene Disorders. Retrieved January 10, 2018, from http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/disorders/singlegene/Miller, R.
E. (2015, January). The Web’s most visited site about children’s health. Retrieved January, 2018, from http://kidshealth.org/Screening for sickle cell and beta thalassemia . (2006, October).
Retrieved January 12, 2018, from http://www.healthtalk.org/Stone, J. (2015, June 19). Sickle Cell Disease Highlights Racial Disparities In Healthcare. Retrieved January 12, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/