About Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a term used for a group of hereditary disorders of the red blood cells, affecting approximately one out of every 400 African-Americans in the United States.
There are approximately 1,000,000 African Americans living in Mississippi, which means there are at least 2,500 African Americans in Mississippi living with sickle cell disease at any one time.
For thousands of Americans, living with SCD means a lifetime of painful episodes, blood transfusions and frequent trips to the hospital. These treatments can often cause complications that are just as bad or worse than the effects of the disease itself.
SCD is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States, and affects millions of people worldwide. Sickle Cell Anemia (SS) is the most common form of SCD, but other forms are prevalent including hemoglobin SC, beta plus thalassemia, beta zero thalassemia, etc. To get a true picture of your hemoglobin type, a hemoglobin electrophoresis is recommended after consultation with your primary physician.
SCD affects red blood cells. The presence of hemoglobin S, an abnormal hemoglobin, cause these blood cells to grow in the shape of a sickle and makes it difficult for them to pass through small blood vessels. When these vessels become blocked, oxygen has trouble reaching the tissues since hemoglobin is an oxygen carrying molecule.
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