A to Z: Sickle Cell Diseaseenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-khAZDictionary-enHD-AR1.jpgLearn about genetic disorders and diseases and conditions that affect the blood.Sickle cell disease, sickle cell trait, sicklemia, SCD, sickle cell anemia, hemoglobin, red blood cells, RBCs, anemia, jaundice, pain crisis, pain episode, vaso-occlusive crisis, acute chest syndrome, aplastic crisis, splenic sequestration, stroke, hydroxyurea, penicillin, infection, bone marrow transplant10/16/201304/11/201909/02/201980e64693-aa5f-4d28-9fc9-97446a9dda6ehttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-sickle-cell.html/<p><em>May also be called: SCD; Sickle Cell Anemia</em></p> <p><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sickle-cell-anemia.html/">Sickle cell disease</a> is an inherited disorder in which red <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/blood.html/">blood</a> cells (RBCs) are abnormally shaped. This abnormality can result in painful episodes, serious infections, chronic <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anemia.html/">anemia</a>, and damage to body organs.</p> <h3>More to Know</h3> <p>Normally, RBCs have a round, doughnut shape and move easily through small blood vessels. Sickle cell disease causes RBCs to form in the elongated shape of a sickle, or the shape of the letter "C." These abnormal RBCs have a tendency to get stuck in narrow blood vessels and block the flow of blood. This can cause episodes of pain and lead to organ damage because the tissues aren't getting enough oxygen.</p> <p>Sickle cells also have a shorter-than-normal life span, which leads to <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anemia.html/">anemia</a> (low RBC count). People with sickle cell disease are also at increased risk for certain bacterial infections and <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/strokes.html/">stroke</a>.</p> <p>Sickle cell disease is caused by a defect in the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/about-genetics.html/">genes</a> that affect hemoglobin, a protein found in RBCs that transports oxygen throughout the body. If a child inherits a sickle cell gene from each parent, he or she will have sickle cell disease. If the child inherits one sickle cell gene and one normal gene, he or she will have sickle cell trait. People with sickle cell trait usually have no symptoms, but they can pass the sickle cell gene on to their children.</p> <p>In most cases, treatment for sickle cell disease involves medicines to help manage the pain, and immunizations and daily doses of penicillin (an antibiotic) to help prevent infection. Severe anemia may be treated with blood transfusions.</p> <h3>Keep in Mind</h3> <p>Thanks to advancements in early diagnosis and treatment, most kids born with sickle cell disease grow up to live relatively healthy and productive lives. The disease is a constant presence, though, so seek immediate medical attention for any signs of infection, severe anemia, chest pain, or seizures.</p> <p><em>All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.</em></p>
AnemiaAnemia is common in teens because they undergo rapid growth spurts, when the body needs more nutrients like iron. Learn about anemia and how it's treated.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/anemia.html/d59f63cc-1045-4151-87c3-750eb2f414d4
Blood Find out about the mysterious, life-sustaining fluid called blood.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/blood.html/4cbf9380-e4e4-445c-92a9-93f01a97516b
Blood TransfusionsAbout 5 million people a year get blood transfusions in the United States. This article explains why people need them and who donates the blood used.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/transfusions.html/e62b4115-02ec-45e0-bab3-ab6097ba1f4d
Genetic TestingAdvances in genetic testing help doctors diagnose and treat certain illnesses. The type of test done depends on which condition a doctor checks for.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/genetics.html/cbe49a95-6833-41f4-881a-c26287c4a33c
My Friend Has Sickle Cell Disease. How Can I Help?People with sickle cell disease need good friends who understand and can help them get through tough times. This article for teens helps you learn what you can do to be that friend.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/sickle-cell-friend.html/3902bac8-c613-4e62-bd58-b0398d998664
Prenatal Genetic CounselingGenetic counselors work with people who are either planning to have a baby or are pregnant to determine whether they carry the genes for certain inherited disorders. Find out more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/genetic-counseling.html/ce3b2896-0a32-4c87-aa11-b2a7da9d790b
Sickle Cell DiseaseSickle cell disease is a blood disorder that makes red blood cells change shape and cause health problems. Find out how to help your child.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sickle-cell-anemia.html/4b0a03a5-a1be-4cb9-ad8d-6fd5ae9faa0a
Sickle Cell Disease Factsheet (for Schools)What teachers should know about sickle cell disease, and how to help students with sickle cell disease succeed in school.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/sickle-cell-factsheet.html/5fd98ea4-f56c-4116-a9cf-e5e6a8255b99
Transitioning Your Medical Care: Sickle Cell DiseaseAt a certain point, you'll no longer be able to see your childhood doctor. Here are tips for teens on making a smooth switch to adult sickle cell care.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/care-sickle-cell.html/11b5c322-38ad-4c63-855f-58a04318fd8c
What's Anemia?What does it mean when a kid has anemia? Learn about anemia, why kids get it, and how it's treated in our article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/anemia.html/9888df72-edc2-4c11-8660-bb2c4b682960