Sickle Cell Anemia
Alternate Names : Sickle Cell Trait
What can be done to prevent the disease?
For an individual with the SS genetic coding for hemoglobin, there is no effective prevention of sickle cell anemia. However, individuals with sickle cell trait (AS coding) can benefit from genetic counseling. If two parents are both carriers of the sickle cell trait, they have a 25% chance of having a child with sickle cell anemia.
What are the long-term effects of the disease?
Many individuals with sickle cell anemia develop serious, long-term medical problems. These include:
severe anemia , which is a shortage of red blood cells
decrease in kidney function
leg ulcers that are difficult to heal
The repeated episodes of severe pain often reduce the quality of daily life. Narcotic pain relievers are often used to treat these painful crises. This can lead to a risk of becoming dependent on these drugs.
What are the risks to others?
Sickle cell anemia is passed from parent to child. It is not contagious.