Sickle Cell Anemia

Essay by canitoCollege, UndergraduateA, February 2008

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Sickle Cell Anemia

A genetic disorder of the blood that produces an abnormal form of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a substance in the red blood cell that carries oxygen into the cells. A Normal blood cell is round and flexible that easily passes through your blood vessels. Experts say that the abnormal hemoglobin called Hemoglobin (HBS) distorts red blood cells after they release oxygen in the tissues. These distorted cells are called sickled cells because of their resemblance to sickle, a type of crescent-shaped cutting blade used in agriculture.

The sickle shape makes it difficult for these cells to pass through tiny blood vessels, resulting in intensely painful blockages that prevent vital oxygen and nutrients in the blood from reaching organs and tissues, impairing their function (Microsoft Corporation 1993-2002). These irregular shaped blood cells also die prematurely causing a chronic shortage of blood cells (anemia) needed to stay healthy.


Anemia is a reduced count of red blood cells being delivered to carry oxygen to the body's tissues.

Erythrocytes also called red blood cells contain hemoglobin, an iron rich protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body's organs and muscles. In a recent MSN's Encarta Encyclopedia article "Destruction of Red Blood Cells" researchers say that red blood cells normally live for about 120 days before the immune system removes them from your body. The body compensates by producing new red bloods, but if the destruction of red blood cells exceeds the body's ability to produce new blood cells, anemia results."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Anemia affects 3.4 million Americans of all walks of life. Various causes of anemia may be due to blood loss, a disorder or decrease in hemoglobin or an iron deficiency in the diet. People with anemia tire easy...