Sickle cell is a disease is due to the presence of sickle haemoglobin (hemoglobin S) in the red blood cells of the normal adult haemoglobin A. When a child inherits HbS from one parent and the normal HbA from the other parent, the child has sickle cell trait or SA anaemia. Such children have no symptoms although they are sickling positive.
On the other hand, if the child gets HbS from both parents, he develops the sickle cell disease. This is when the child develops many signs and symptoms which is accompanied with severe pains. People with sickle cell disease are always admitted at the hospital with the general signs of anaemia.
3. Easy fatigability or tiredness
4. Shortness of breath
5. Palpitation (faster heart beats)
When a person has sickle cell, the red blood cells are subjected to low oxygen which become characteristically elongated and sickle or crescent shape. Such low oxygen tension can occur in the child with fever, dehydration and stasis of blood.
Sickle Cell Crisis
Sickle cell occurs when there is an infection or extreme exercises. When there is sickle cell crisis, the person develops high fever, abdominal pain, excruciating back pain. There will be vomiting, swollen and painful joints. If the crisis affects the central nervous system, there can be coma or convulsions. If it affects the kidneys, there will be flank pain or blood in urine.
Sickle cell has no permanent cure since there is an involvement of irregular haemoglobin. But when there is crisis, doctors will prescribe pain medications to relieve pain. There is also bed rest to minimise energy and oxygen expenditure. There are also blood replacement to treat anaemia and reduce the viscosity and thickness of the sickled blood. Antibiotics may also be given to treat underlying or existing infections.
Partners should check their blood before agreeing to get married. Some blood groups or genes do not match for marriage.
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