Genetic Disorder: Sickle Cell Anemia Essays Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Blood, Health, Medicine, Disease, Body, Hemoglobin, Oxygen, Circulation

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/02/21

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Sickle cell anemia is a sickle cell infection in which the red blood cells become sickle or crescent shaped. The difference in the structure of the red blood cells causes the disease. Normal shaped red blood cells are shaped like discs and with space in the center. This makes them flexible they move through the blood vessels in the body. The space in the center contains a protein named Hemoglobin, which take oxygen up from the lungs and provides it to the rest of the body. The sickle cells contain sickle hemoglobin that has a different structure from the normal one. It makes the cells develop a crescent-like shape which hinders the flow of the blood cell in the delicate vessels. The cells turn sticky, stiff and tend to clump up together, blocking blood vessels in the body. This can cause pain, organ damage and infections. (NIH, 2012).
The inheritance of sickle cell anemia is through the autosomal recessive pattern, where both inherited copies of the genes contain the mutations for the genetic pattern. For an individual to incur the disease, both parents need to be carriers of the autosomal recessive condition where they might not be showing any symptoms of the disease.
The signs and symptoms of sickle cell anemia become apparent after an infant is four months of age. The first overt symptom is anemia. Since sickle cells are delicate, they break off easily and cut down the supply of red blood cells in the body. Sickle cells die within a time span of 20 days, as opposed to 120 days span possessed by normal red blood cells. Causing a shortage of red blood cells in the body, the oxygen circulation is affected negatively that causes anemia and fatigue.
It also causes pains in the parts of the bodies where the sickle cells block and restrict the flow of blood such as the chest, limbs or any other body part. Swollen hands and feet are symptoms in infants. Getting infections is also common because the spleen is affected. Growth is slowed in individuals with the disease because of lesser circulation of blood in the body, leading to hampered growth and attainment of puberty. It can also cause poor vision because of the damage to the retina by the sickle cells.
Blood transfusion and bone marrow transplant are the treatment for some of the cases of the disease. Sometimes mild pains are treated with medication and fluids. Hydroxyurea is given in some cases to produce fetal hemoglobin, which can help to prevent the cells from sickling.
Millions of people all over the world are affected by this disease especially those belonging to the Sahara Desert, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, India, Saudi Arabia and several Mediterranean countries. It affects more than 100,000 Americans and in every 500 births of African American children, one is born with sickle cell anemia. (CDC, 2011). The exact number is unknown because the disease is still a rarity to happen.


CDC. (2011). Sickle Cell Disease. Retrieved (12 April, 2015) from
NIH. (2012). What is sickle cell anemia? Retrieved (12 April, 2015) from

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