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Monday, June 19, 2017

Sickle Cell Disease Awareness

Sickle Cell Disease happens when inherited red blood cell disorders The red blood cell have abnormal hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body)  in the red blood cells. Parents who suffered with sickle cell may pass the disease down to their children as well. Sickle Cell is not contagious. No one can catch it from someone else. 

Red blood cells with normal hemoglobin are disc shaped. The shape allows the cells to b flexible so they can move easily through the large and small blood vessels to deliver oxygen. Sickle hemoglobin cells can form stiff rods within the red cell which changes shape to crescent or sickle shape. Sickle shapes are not flexible and can stick to vessel walls. This can cause a blockage that slows or stops the flow of blood. When a blockage occurs oxygen can not travel to nearby tissues. 

The lack of tissue oxygen can cause attacks of sudden, severe pain. The pain may occur without warning and is often severe enough to send individual to hospital. This pain often worsens as individual gets older. An individuals spleen, brain, eyes, lungs, liver, heart , kidneys, joints, bones or skin can be damaged. 
A normal person is constantly making red blood cells that last between 90 to 120 days. A person with sickle cells red blood cells only live around 10 to 20 days. This gap in time makes it hard to keep up with supply of needed blood and leads to anemia. 

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