Sickle Cell Anemia

Friday, January 13, 2017

Sickle cell anemia is a group of disorders that cause red blood cells to become misshapen and break down. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about sickle cell anemia in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited form of anemia a condition in which there arent enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout your body.

Normally, your red blood cells are flexible and round, moving easily through your blood vessels. In sickle cell anemia, the red blood cells become rigid and sticky and are shaped like sickles or crescent moons. These irregularly shaped cells can get stuck in small blood vessels, which can slow or block blood flow and oxygen to parts of the body.

Signs and symptoms of sickle cell anemia often dont appear until an infant is at least 4 months old and may include:

Anemia, a lasting shortage of red blood cells

Pain in the chest, abdomen and joints. Pain can also occur in your bones. The pain may vary in intensity.

Hand-foot syndrome.

Frequent infections.

Delayed growth, and

Vision problems

Theres no cure for most people with sickle cell anemia. However, treatments can relieve pain and help prevent further problems.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.