WHAT IS SICKLE CELL DISEASE (SCD)?
SCD is an inherited blood disorder caused by an abnormality in the red blood cell. The red blood cell is responsible for carrying oxygen to all parts of our body. When a person has SCD, the red blood cells are abnormal. They may become misshapen into a “sickle” shapped which causes the cells to clog in the blood vessels. This clogging can lead to pain and organ and tissue damage. Another abnormality of the sickle cell is the life span of the cell. A normal red blood cell lasts approximately 120 days. A sickle cell lasts approximately 6 to 14 days. This results in the child having chronic anemia. COMPLICATIONS OF SICKLE CELL DISEASE SCD can affect or damage many organs and tissues in the body. Some of the major complications are listed below. Anemia A child with SCD has fragile, oxygen-carrying red blood cells which causes them to have chronic anemia. They may easily fatigue and have less stamina and endurance. Due to their chronic anemia, the child may be slower to grow and develop. Ch