Sickle cell anemia is a rare, inherited disease where the red blood cells are deformed. When looked at under a microscope, they are a sickle shaped as opposed to the normal donut shaped. This gives the disease its name. Because they are deformed, the blood cells cannot deliver oxygen normally. This leads to a wealth of sometimes devastating symptoms. There are many people across America suffering from sickle cell anemia. However, many people may suffer without recognizing the true cause due to a lack of information that they have.
Information. The red blood cells in sickle cell anemia not only fail to deliver oxygen the way they should, but they are sticky and clump together to form clots. These clots stop the flow of blood in the capillaries of the circulatory system outside of the heart. In the United States, most people who have sickle cell anemia are African American and the disease strikes about one in 300 to 400 babies. In some areas of Africa, close to 40 percent of the population can have the disease. Other populations that are susceptible to sickle cell disorder are people from the Mediterranean, the Middle East, South and Central America, India and the Caribbean.