Sickle Cell Anemia : Causes - Symptoms- Diagnosis -Treatment


What Is Sickle Cell Anemia?

Sickle cell anemia may be a style of the hereditary blood disorder, sickle cell disease. Red blood cell anemia affects your red blood cells, turning them from spherical versatile discs into stiff and sticky sickled cells. Sickled cells keep red blood cells from doing their job, that is carrying atomic number 8 throughout your body. Sickled cells conjointly don’t live as long as traditional red blood cells. As a result, you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells and you develop anemia, the condition that provides sickle cell anemia its name.

Within the past, babies born with sickle cell anemia seldom lived to be adults. Now, because of early detection and new treatments, half of all people that have red blood cell anemia live into their 50s. People that have sickle cell anemia still face probably severe medical complications. However, care suppliers have treatments that cut back the danger of complications and ease symptoms after they happen. (Unfortunately, there are several places within the world where folks still don’t have access to effective medical treatment for sickle cell anemia.)Sickle cell unwellness is the name for a bunch of hereditary health conditions that have an effect on the red blood cells. The foremost serious sort is called red blood cell anemia.

What Is Sickle Cell Anemia?
Sickle Cell Anemia

Red blood cell unwellness is especially common in folks with an African or Caribbean family background.

Folks with sickle cell disease turn out outstandingly formed red blood cells which will cause issues as a result of them not living as long as healthy blood cells and may block blood vessels.

Red blood cell disease may be a serious and womb-to-tomb health condition, though treatment can facilitate managing several of the symptoms.Sickle cell anemia is rare within the United States, affecting around 100,000 people. It largely affects people whose ancestry links back to parts of the globe wherever many of us have protozoal infection and carry a sequence that has partial protection against anemia. This gene also causes red blood cell anemia. Within the United States, sickle cell anemia has an effect ons many people who are Black. It should also affect people from southern European, geographical areas or Asian Indian ancestry.Babies born with sickle cell anemia might not have symptoms for many months. After they do, symptoms embrace extreme fatigue or fussiness from anemia, painfully swollen hands and feet, and jaundice. Babies might also have spleen harm that affects their system and will increase their risk for microorganism infections. As folks with red blood cell anemia grow older, they will develop totally different and additional serious medical issues that happen once organ tissues don’t receive enough oxygen. folks with sickle cell anemia are at magnified risk for stroke and lung, kidney, spleen and liver damage.

  1. Circulatory system

  1. Blood

Medical terms

  • Sickle cell anemia is an inherited, chronic blood disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is an inherited disorder in which the body produces abnormally shaped red blood cells known as sickle-shaped red blood cells. These cells can become stuck in the small vessels of the body, obstructing the flow of blood, leading to pain and other complications. The effects of sickle cell anemia vary greatly from person to person and can be managed with proper medical attention and lifestyle changes.

  • Sickle Cell Anemia is an inherited blood disorder that affects roughly 100,000 Americans every year. It is caused by an alteration in the gene that encodes hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. The disease is characterized by stiff, curved red blood cells that can become stuck in the blood vessels, causing pain and damage to organs. Although there is currently no cure for Sickle Cell Anemia, patients can take steps to manage the disease such as taking medication, changing their diet, and getting enough rest.

  • Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disease in which the red blood cells are sickle-shaped. They are rigid and sticky and don't get enough oxygen to the body. Sickle cell anemia symptoms include pain episodes of difficulty breathing and infections If someone with this condition gets an infection or is injured it can be life-threatening.

  • Sickle cell anemia is a group of blood disorders that are caused by the body's inability to produce normal hemoglobin Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body and helps give the blood its red color People with sickle cell anemia have abnormal hemoglobin or "sickle" hemoglobin which becomes sticky and gives red blood cells a crescent or "sickle" shape.

  • Sickle cell anemia is one among a bunch of transmissible disorders called erythrocyte disease. It affects the form of red blood cells that carry O to all or any elements of the body. Red blood cells are typically spherical and flexible, so that they move simply through blood vessels. In edge tool cell anemia, some red blood cells are formed like sickles or crescent moons. These sickle cells conjointly become rigid and sticky, which might slow or block blood flow. There's no cure for many individuals with sickle cell anemia. Treatments can relieve pain and facilitate forestall complications associated with the unwellness.Sickle cell disease is a transmissible blood disorder. It's marked by imperfect hemoprotein. That’s the macromolecule in red blood cells that carries O to the tissues of the body. So, erythrocyte disease interferes with the delivery of oxygen to the tissues. Red blood cells with traditional hemoglobin are smooth, disk-shaped, and flexible, like doughnuts while not holes. they will move through the blood vessels easily. Cells with edge tool cell hemoglobin are stiff and sticky. Once they lose their oxygen, they type into the form of a sickle or crescent, just like the letter C. These cells stay together and can’t simply move through the blood vessels. This may block tiny blood vessels and therefore the movement of healthy, traditional oxygen-carrying blood. The blockage can cause pain. traditional red blood cells can live up to a hundred and twenty days. But, edge tool cells solely live for about ten to twenty days. Also, sickle cells are also destroyed by the spleen due to their form and stiffness. The spleen helps filter the blood of infections. Sickled cells bog down during this filter and die. With less healthy red blood cells current within the body, you'll be able to become inveterately anemic. The sickled cells conjointly injure the spleen. This puts you bigger in danger of infections. 

Types Sickle Cell Anemia

There are several varieties of SCD. The specific type of SCD someone has depends on the genes they inherited from their mother and father. People with SCD inherit genes that incorporate instructions, or code, for bizarre hemoglobin.

Below are the most common types of SCD:


People who've this shape of SCD inherit  genes, one from each figure, that code for hemoglobin “S.” Hemoglobin S is an odd form of hemoglobin that causes the pink cells to become inflexible, and sickle formed. This is typically known as sickle cellular anemia and is generally the most excessive form of the sickness.


People who've this manner of honorary degree inherit a hemoglobin “S” cistron from one distinguisher and a gene for an extraordinary style of uncommon hemoglobin referred to as “C” from the alternative parent. This can be principally a milder form of SCD.

HbS beta thalassemia

People who have this manner of honorary degree inherit a Hb “S” cistron from one parent and a gene for beta thalassemia, another sort of hemoglobin abnormality, from the opposite parent. There are 2 varieties of beta thalassemia: “zero” (HbS beta0) and “plus” (HbS beta+). Those with HbS beta0-thalassemia typically have a severe kind of SCD. individuals with HbS beta+-thalassemia tend to own a milder form of SCD.

There also are a few rare types of SCD, such as the following:

HbSD, HbSE, and HbSO

People who have these varieties of ScD inherit one hemoglobin “S” sequence and one gene that codes for an additional abnormal kind of hemoglobin (“D”, “E”, or “O”). The severity of those rarer types of ScD varies.

Sickle Cell Trait (SCT)


People who have erythrocyte attributes (SCT) inherit a hemoglobin “S” sequence from one parent and a standard gene (one that codes for hemoglobin “A”) from the opposite parent. individuals with SCT typically don't have any of the signs of the disease. However, in rare cases, an individual with SCT might develop health problems; this happens most frequently once there are other stresses on the body, such as when a person becomes dehydrated or exercises strenuously. Additionally, those who have SCT will pass the abnormal hemoglobin “S” gene on to their children.

Symptoms Sickle Cell Anemia

People with erythrocyte anemia inherit the sickness from their biological elders. In sickle cell anemia, the factor that helps create traditional red blood cells mutates, or amendments. Those that inherit the mutated Hb protein gene from each biological parent have sickle cell anemia. Those that inherit the mutated gene from one biological parent have the sickle cell trait. Signs and symptoms of sickle cell anemia typically seem around six months of age. They vary from person to person and should change over time. Signs and symptoms will include:

  • Anemia. Sickle cells ruin aside easily and die. Red blood cells typically live for about one hundred twenty days earlier than they want to be replaced. But sickle cells typically die in 10 to 20 days, leaving a scarcity of pink blood cells (anemia). Without sufficient pink blood cells, the body can't get enough oxygen and this causes fatigue.

  • Episodes of pain. Periodic episodes of maximum pain, known as pain crises, are a serious symptom of red blood cell anemia. Pain develops once falcate red blood cells block blood flow through little blood vessels to your chest, abdomen and joints. The pain varies in intensity and may last for some hours to a few days. Some folks have solely a few pain crises a year. Others have a dozen or a lot a year. A severe pain crisis needs a hospital stay. Some adolescents and adults with sickle cell anemia even have chronic pain, which might result from bone and joint damage, ulcers, and different causes. 

  • Swelling of hands and feet. The swelling is caused by sickle-fashioned pink blood cells blocking off blood circulation inside the fingers and toes.

  • Frequent infections. Sickle cells will injure the spleen, increasing vulnerability to infections. Infants and youngsters with RBC anemia ordinarily receive vaccinations and antibiotics to forestall doubtless dangerous infections, equivalent to pneumonia. 

  • Delayed growth or puberty. Red blood cells give the body the chemical element and nutrients required for growth. A shortage of healthy red blood cells will slow growth in infants and kids and delay time of life in teenagers. 

  • Vision problems. Tiny blood vessels that provide the attention can become blocked with reaping hook cells. This may harm the membrane — the portion of the eye that processes visual pictures — and result in vision problems. 

When to see a doctor

See your fitness care provider right away in case you or your baby has symptoms of sickle mobile anemia. Because kids with sickle mobile anemia are vulnerable to infections, which regularly start with a fever and can be life-threatening, seek set off clinical interest for a fever greater than a hundred and one.Five F (38.5 C).

Seek emergency care for symptoms of stroke, which include:

  • One-sided paralysis or weakness in the face, arms or legs

  • Confusion

  • Difficulty walking or talking

  • Sudden vision changes

  • Unexplained numbness

  • Severe headache

Causes Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle cell malady is caused by a factor that affects however red blood cells develop. If each folks has the gene, there's a one in four likelihood of every kid they need being born with red blood cell disease. The child' parents typically won't have sickle cell disease themselves and they're solely carriers of the sickle cell trait.Sickle cell anemia is caused by an amendment within the gene that tells the body to create the iron-rich compound in red blood cells known as hemoglobin. hemoprotein permits red blood cells to hold O from the lungs throughout the body. The hemoprotein related to red blood cell anemia causes red blood cells to become rigid, sticky and misshapen. For a toddler to be affected, each mother and father should carry one copy of the reap hook cell factor — conjointly called sickle cell attribute — and pass both copies of the altered type to the child. If only 1 parent passes the sickle cell gene to the child, that child can have the sickle cell trait. With one typical hemoglobin gene and one altered sort of the gene, individuals with the sickle cell attribute create each typical hemoprotein and red blood cell hemoglobin. Their blood may contain some reap hook cells, however {they factorrally|they typically|they often} don't have symptoms. They're carriers of the disease, however, which implies they'll pass the gene to their children.

Risk factors Sickle Cell Anemia

For a baby to turn with red blood cell anemia, each oldsters should carry a sickle cell gene. Within the United States, sickle cell anemia most typically affects folks of African, Mediterranean and geographic area descent.

Complications Sickle Cell Anemia

People with SCD may additionally begin to have symptoms of the ailment for the duration of the primary 12 months of existence, generally around 5 months of age. Symptoms and headaches of SCD are distinct for every body and can variety from mild to intense. Learn approximately the complications.

Sickle cell anemia can lead to a host of complications, including:

  • Stroke. Sickle cells will block blood flow to a section of the brain. Signs of stroke embody seizures, weakness or symptoms of the arms and legs, explosive speech difficulties, and loss of consciousness. If your kid has any of those signs and symptoms, get medical treatment immediately. A stroke is fatal. 

  • Acute chest syndrome. A respiratory organ infection or reap hook cells that obstruct blood vessels within the lungs will cause this dangerous complication, leading to chest pain, fever and respiratory issues. it would need emergency medical treatment. 

  • Pulmonary hypertension. People with erythrocyte anemia can develop high vital signs in their lungs. This complication typically affects adults. Shortness of breath and fatigue are common symptoms of this condition, which might be fatal. 

  • Organ damage. Sickle cells that block blood flow to organs deprive the affected organs of blood and oxygen. In RBC anemia, blood is additionally inveterately low in oxygen. This lack of oxygen-rich blood can injure nerves and organs, as well as kidneys, liver and spleen, and may be fatal. 

  • Splenic sequestration. A large range of red blood cells can get cornered within the spleen, inflicting it to enlarge and probably causing belly pain on the left facet of the body. This could be life-threatening. folks of youngsters with reap hook cell anemia ought to learn to frequently feel their child' spleen for enlargement. 

  • Blindness. Sickle cells can block tiny blood vessels that deliver the eyes. Over time, this can lead to blindness.

  • Leg ulcers. Sickle cell anemia can cause painful open sores on the legs.

  • Gallstones. The breakdown of red blood cells produces a substance known as bilirubin. An excessive level of bilirubin in the frame can result in gallstones.

  • Priapism. In this condition, men with sickle mobile anemia will have painful, long-lasting erections. Sickle cells can block the blood vessels within the penis, that can lead to impotence through the years.

  • Deep vein thrombosis. Sickling of crimson cells can cause blood clots, increasing the danger of a clot lodging in a deep vein (deep vein thrombosis) or a lung (pulmonary embolism). Either can cause extreme illness or maybe demise.

  • Pregnancy complications. Sickle mobile anemia can increase the hazard of excessive blood stress and blood clots throughout being pregnant. It also can increase the risk of miscarriage, untimely start and having low start weight babies.

Prevention Sickle Cell Anemia

If you carry the sickle mobile trait, seeing a genetic counselor earlier than looking to conceive assists you to recognize your chance of getting a child with sickle cell anemia. A genetic counselor can also provide an explanation for feasible remedies, preventive measures and reproductive options.

What is the new treatment for sickle cell anemia?

Sickle cell anemia is a condition in which the red blood cells which carry oxygen from the lungs to the body's tissues are sickle-shaped These irregularly shaped cells are rigid and sticky causing blockages in blood vessels that can lead to painful episodes called vaso-occlusive crises Over time these episodes can lead to organ damage and death There is no cure for sickle cell anemia but there are treatments that help manage the symptoms of this disease New medications have been developed that target two different pathways involved in producing hemoglobin (a protein found inside red cells) These medications slow down or stop production of abnormal hemoglobin molecules needed to.

Can a person with sickle cell have a baby?

Yes a person with sickle cell can have a baby However they need to be aware of some risk factors and warning signs The most serious threat to the health of the baby is that it can have sickle cell anemia as well This happens when both parents have sickle cell disease and each parent passes on a defective gene for the trait If this happens there is a 25 percent chance that their child will inherit two copies of the defective gene If this occurs there is no treatment and the child will die in infancy or childhood.

Can sickle cell be prevented?

Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder It's passed on from parents to children But in certain cases an individual's genes may cause the condition without a family connection You can't prevent sickle cell disease but you can plan for it The key is early diagnosis and treatment with medical care and pain management Your doctor can help you understand your risk factors and develop strategies to manage your symptoms such as.

Diagnosis Sickle Cell Anemia

SCD is diagnosed with an easy blood test. In youngsters born within the United States, it most frequently is found at birth throughout routine newborn screening tests at the hospital. In addition, honorary degrees may be diagnosed whereas the baby is in the womb. Diagnostic tests before the baby is born, corresponding to villus sampling and amniocentesis, will check for body or genetic abnormalities in the baby. villus sampling tests a little piece of the placenta, known as sac villus. centesis tests a small sample of body fluid encompassing the baby.

As a result of children with honorary degrees are at an exaggerated risk of infection associated with different health problems, early designation and treatment are important.

seek advice from your doctor to seek out the way to get tested and to clarify the results once testing.

A biopsy will check for the shape of hemoglobin that underlies red blood cell anemia. Within the United States, this blood test is an element of routine newborn screening. however older youngsters and adults may be tested, too.

In adults, a blood sample is drawn from a vein in the arm. In young children and babies, the blood sample is typically collected from a finger or heel. The sample is then sent to a laboratory, wherever it' screened for the red blood cell kind of hemoglobin.

If you or your kid has sickle cell anemia, your doctor may recommend different tests to envision for attainable complications of the disease.

If you or your child carries the sickle cell gene, you'll probably be observed by a genetic counselor.

  1. Blood analysis

  2. Blood count

  3. Blood typing

Assessing stroke risk

A special ultrasound machine will reveal that youngsters have a better risk of stroke. This painless test, which uses sound waves to live blood flow within the brain, is utilized in children as young as two years. Regular blood transfusions can decrease stroke risk.

Tests to detect sickle cell genes before birth

Sickle cell unwellness is often diagnosed in AN unhatched baby by sampling a number of the fluid close to the baby within the mother' female internal reproductive organ (amniotic fluid). If you or your partner has RBC anemia or the sickle cell trait, raise your doctor concerning this screening.

Treatment Sickle Cell Anemia

Right now, allogeneic somatic cell transplantation is the only manner health care suppliers will cure erythrocyte anemia and alternative styles of sickle cell disease. Health care providers typically advocate transplantation for those that have severe complications, such as stroke, acute chest syndrome or revenant VOC/acute pain crises.Management of sickle cell anemia is sometimes geared toward avoiding pain episodes, relieving symptoms and preventing complications. Treatments would possibly embody medications and blood transfusions. For a few kids and teenagers, a stem cell transplant might cure the disease.


  • Hydroxyurea (Droxia, Hydrea, Siklos). Daily hydroxyurea scale backs the frequency of painful crises and may reduce the requirement for blood transfusions and hospitalizations. however it will increase the chance of infections. Don't take the drug if you're pregnant.

  • L-glutamine oral powder (Endari). The FDA lately authorized this drug for treatment of sickle cell anemia. It allows in lowering the frequency of ache crises.

  • Crizanlizumab (Adakveo). This drug, given through injection, can assist reduce the frequency of pain crises in adults and children older than sixteen. Side effects can include nausea, joint ache, again pain and fever.

  • Voxelotor (Oxbryta). This drug is employed to treat erythrocyte unwellness in adults and kids older than 12. Taken orally, this drug will lower the chance of anemia and improve blood flow throughout the body. Aspect effects can embody headache, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, rash and fever.

  • Pain-relieving medications. Your health practitioner may prescribe narcotics to help relieve ache during sickle cellular pain crises.

Preventing infections

Children with erythrocyte anemia would possibly receive antibiotic drugs between the ages of concerning two months previous till a minimum of age five years. Doing thus helps forestall infections, adore respiratory illness, which may be serious to children with sickle cell anemia.

Adults who have sickle cell anemia might have to be compelled to take penicillin throughout their lives if they've had pneumonia or surgery to get rid of the spleen.

Childhood vaccinations are vital for preventing disease for all children. They're even a lot of important for kids with sickle cell anemia as a result of their infections may be severe.

Your child' doctor ought to make sure that your kid receives all the suggested childhood vaccinations, additionally as vaccines against pneumonia, meningitis, hepatitis B Associate in Nursing an annual influenza shot. Vaccines also are vital for adults with erythrocyte anemia.

Throughout the COVID nineteen pandemic, folks with sickle cell anemia should take further precautions, adore staying isolated, receiving the maximum amount as attainable and for people who are eligible, obtaining vaccinated.

Surgical and other procedures

Blood transfusions. These are accustomed to treat and stop complications, reminiscent of stroke, in individuals with erythrocyte disease.

During a red blood cell transfusion, red blood cells are off from a source of given blood, then given through a vein to someone with sickle cell anemia. This will increase the quantity of traditional red blood cells, which helps cut back symptoms and complications.

  • Risks embody an reaction to the donor blood, which may create it arduous to seek out future donors; infection; and excess iron buildup in your body. As a result of excess iron can injure your heart, liver and different organs, you would possibly want treatment to cut back iron levels if you endure regular transfusions.

Stem cell transplant. Also referred to as bone marrow transplant, this procedure involves substitution of bone marrow stricken by erythrocyte anemia with healthy bone marrow from a donor. The procedure sometimes uses a matched donor, to appreciate a sibling, who doesn't have sickle cell anemia.

attributable to the risks related to a bone marrow transplant, together with death, the procedure is usually recommended just for people, usually children, who have vital symptoms and complications of sickle cell anemia. A somatic cell transplant is the solely well-known cure for sickle cell anemia.

  • Clinical trials are currently to handle stem cell transplantation in adults and sequence therapies.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Taking the following steps to live healthful may help you keep away from headaches of sickle cellular anemia:

  • Take folic acid supplements daily and choose a healthy diet. Bone marrow desires vitamin Bc and alternative vitamins to form new red blood cells. raise your doctor a couple of folic acid supplements and other vitamins. Eat a spread of colorful fruits and vegetables, in addition as whole grains.

  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration will increase your risk of a red blood cell crisis. Drink water throughout your day, aiming for eight glasses a day. Increase the quantity of water you drink if you exercise or pay time in a very hot, dry climate.

  • Avoid temperature extremes. Exposure to severe heat or bloodlessness can increase your risk of a sickle cell crisis.

  • Exercise regularly, but don't overdo it. Talk with your doctor about how much exercise is right for you.

  • Use nonprescription medications with caution. Use pain medications, reminiscent of NSAID (Advil, Motrin IB, Children' Motrin, others) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (Aleve), sparingly, if at all, attributable to the doable result on your kidneys. raise your doctor before taking nonprescription drugs.

  • Don't smoke. Smoking increases your risk of pain crises.

Coping and support

If you or a person on your circle of relatives has sickle cellular anemia, you might don't forget the subsequent to help you cope:

  • Finding someone to talk with. Living with a chronic malady is stressful. Think about consulting a psychological state professional, comparable to a psychologist, counselor or social worker, to assist you cope.

  • Join a support group. Ask your fitness care provider to approximately assist agencies for families in your place. Talking with others who are facing challenges just like yours may be helpful.

  • Exploring ways to cope with the pain. Work along with your health care supplier to search out ways in which to manage your pain. Pain medications can't continuously take all the pain away. completely different techniques work for various people, however it would be price making an attempt at heating pads, hot baths, massages or physical therapy.

  • Learning about sickle cell anemia to make informed decisions about care. If you have got an infant with sickle mobile anemia, analyze as much as you may about the ailment. Ask questions at some point of your toddler's appointments. Ask your fitness care group to propose correct resources of data.

Preparing for your appointment

Sickle cell anemia is typically diagnosed through screening done once a baby is born. Those check results will doubtless run to your GP or medical specialties. He or she is going to likely refer you to a doctor who specializes in blood disorders (hematologist) or a pediatric hematologist.

Here's information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, Together with any that appear unrelated to the purpose for that you scheduled the appointment, and when they commenced

  • Key personal information, Inclusive of family medical history and whether anybody has sickle cell anemia or has the trait for it

  • Questions to ask your doctor

Bring a family member or friend alongside, if possible, that will help you recall the information you are given.

For sickle cell anemia, questions to ask your health care provider include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my child's symptoms?

  • Are there other possible causes?

  • What tests are needed?

  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?

  • What side effects are common with these treatments?

  • Are there alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?

  • What's my child's prognosis?

  • Are there dietary or activity restrictions?

  • Do you have brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, including:

  • When did you notice your child's symptoms?

  • Have they been continuous or occasional?

  • What, if anything, seems to improve symptoms?

  • What, if anything, seems to worsen them?

General summary

  1. Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disorder that affects the formation of red blood cells. These red blood cells are crescent moon shaped and prone to breakage. The sickle shaped cells become stuck in small blood vessels, blocking the flow of oxygen and leading to a wide range of painful and sometimes life-threatening symptoms. The severity of the symptoms depends on the degree of the disorder, but they can include fatigue, anemia, pain, infections and stroke.

  2. Sickle cell anemia is a rare genetic disorder that affects millions of individuals around the world. It is caused by a mutation in the hemoglobin gene resulting in a less flexible form of red blood cells that can cause inflammation, pain, and a wide range of medical complications. In the United States, it is more common in African Americans, though it can affect people of any racial or ethnic background. People with sickle cell anemia must take special care to monitor their health, as this chronic condition can be life threatening if not managed properly.

  3. Sickle cell anemia is a type of blood disorder caused by a genetic mutation. It affects the oxygen-carrying red blood cells, which become crescent-shaped and sticky, unable to easily pass through small blood vessels. This mutation is passed from parents to their children. People with the disorder can experience episodes of pain known as vaso-occlusive crises, as well as anemia, infection, and organ damage.

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