Wednesday, April 10, 2013

sickle cells carrier can have normal kids



The sickle cell disease is inherited from one’s parents. It is a disorder of the red blood cells.

People with sickle cell disease have abnormal red blood cells that have haemoglobin S that sometimes become sickle or crescent in shape and therefore make it difficult for the blood to pass through small blood vessels. When the blood cannot pass through the small vessels, it will not be able to reach those parts of the body which the arteries serve. Eventually, these tissues become damaged due to lack of oxygen and other nutrients. The damaged organs and tissues are what cause the complications of sickle cell disease.

Normal blood cells contain haemoglobin A, which is soft and round and can easily squeeze through the tiny blood vessels. They live for about 120 days before they are replaced by new blood. Haemoglobin S, however, lives for only 16 days and become stiff and misshapen and has difficulty passing through the tiny blood vessels which become blocked with clumps of blood.

There are several types of sickle cell disease. The most common is sickle cell anaemia (SS). There is also sickle haemoglobin C Disease (SC). Sickle Beta-Plus Thalassemia and Sickle Beta-Zero Thalassemia. There is also sickle cell trait, in which the child can produce both haemoglobin A and S (AS). However, children who are AS are generally healthy, as they tend to produce more haemoglobin A than S. You can have children who are AS if one parent is AA and the other is AS or if both parents are AS. If both parents are AA, then all children will be AA. If both parents are AS, then you can have children who are either AA, AS or SS.

When the sickled blood cell blocks the flow of blood through the small blood vessels, it causes damage to the lungs, which in turn causes respiratory problems and acute pain episodes in the arms, legs, chest and abdomen. It can also cause stroke, prolonged and painful erection and damage to most organs, including the spleen, kidneys and liver.

Damage to the spleen makes sicklers, particularly the children, to be prone to bacterial infections which totally overwhelms them so that they are constantly sick and in pain. With good medical care, some have lived up to 60 years and above.


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