Sickle Cell Anemia

Topics: Red blood cell, Sickle-cell disease, Blood transfusion Pages: 10 (1567 words) Published: April 18, 2015
Physiology Of Flight
Term Paper
DERYL OMATSEYE
Everglades University

Mr. Kirk Webster

Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle cell anemia or also known as sickle cell disease is a hereditary genetic disease defined by the presence of odd shaped crescent-shaped red blood cells instead of the regular round disc like shape cells. Red blood cells transport oxygen from the lungs to various other organs and tissues with the help of a protein called hemoglobin. The main cause of sickle cell disease is when hemoglobin mutates into an abnormal type called hemoglobin S. The presence of Hemoglobin S causes red blood cells to be sickle-shaped and rigid, making it more difficult for them to flow through blood vessels in the body to deliver oxygen. Therefore, the sickled cells latch onto the walls of various blood vessels throughout the body, resulting in blocked blood flow that can lead to organ damage, pain and infections

I have chosen to write my paper on a subject that I have been constantly learning about for years due to my younger brother being a Sickle cell anemia patient for all of his life. My brother is currently 23 years old and has the Sickle Cell hemoglobin SS trait disease. The Sickle cell disease is an inherited condition, two genes for the sickle hemoglobin where inherited from our parents (Both my parents have the hemoglobin AS trait) in order for him to have the disease.

At the time of conception, a person receives one set of genes from the mother’s egg and a parallel set of genes come from the father’s sperm. These genes stand on structures inside cells called chromosomes. The combined effects of many genes determine some traits (hair color and height, for instance). One gene pair determines other characteristics. Sickle cell disease is a condition that is determined by a single pair of genes (one from each parent).

The Sickle cell disease transforms his normal, round red blood cells into cells that can be shaped like crescent moons or a sickle tool, which has a crescent shaped blade. Normal red blood cells move easily through his blood vessels, taking oxygen to every part of your body. But sickled cells can get stuck and block blood vessels, which stops the oxygen from getting through. That can cause a lot of pain. It can also harm organs, muscles, and bones.

My brother having the sickle cell disease has meant a lifetime battle against the health problems it can cause, such as pain, infections, anemia, stroke and even death. Although many people including my brother are able to have a good quality of life by learning to manage the disease.

Painful events also known as sickle cell crises are the most common symptom of sickle cell disease. They are durations of pain, which occur when sickled cells get stuck in blood vessels and block or slow down the blood flow. These events cause pain in the chest, back, belly hands and or feet, which is most simultaneously. The pain may last for hours or even days.

People with sickle cell disease often have anemia, caused by a shortage of red blood cells. Anemia makes you feel weak and tired. People with sickle cell anemia may look pale or washed out. Their skin and the whites of their eyes may have a yellowish look (jaundice).

Signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease usually begin in early childhood. The main features of this disorder include a low number of red blood cells (anemia), repeated infections, and periodic episodes of pain. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person. Some people have mild symptoms, while others like my brother was are frequently hospitalized for more serious complications. The signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease are caused by the sickling of red blood cells. When red blood cells sickle, they break down prematurely, which can lead to anemia. Anemia causes shortness of breath, fatigue, and delayed growth & development in children. The rapid breakdown of red blood cells may also...
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