Sickle Cell Disease

Understanding the Impact of Sickle Cell Disease

What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a blood disorder that some people are born with. It affects how their red blood cells form. If you are born with SCD you may experience certain symptoms that are caused by the way most of your blood cells are shaped.

Sickle Cell Disease and your blood: 

Sickle cells do not last as long as normal red blood cells because
they are shaped differently. Because of this, you don’t have
enough red blood cells and your body can’t replace them fast
enough. Not having enough red cells is called anemia.

What is unique about sickle red blood cells?

  • They are curved like a crescent or a sickle
  • They are still and inflexible
  • They have trouble moving through the body can cluster together and block blood flow

Blood is made up of four different parts:

  • PLASMA: the watery liquid that contains all cells
    that makes up your blood
  • PLATELETS: helps the body to stop bleeding when
    you get a cut or when you get injured
  • WHITE BLOOD CELLS: defend the body against
    germs and help you fight off infections
  • RED BLOOD CELLS: contains hemoglobin, which
    helps move oxygen throughout the body and
    gives blood its red color

What role does blood play?

Blood helps bring oxygen and nutrients to different parts
of the body.