September is National Sickle Cell Month
September is National Sickle Cell Month. Sickle cell disease affects people of many racial and ethnic groups. In the United States, 90,000 to 100,000 people have SCD. Sickle cell disease occurs among about 1 of every 500 Black or African-American births and among about 1 out of every 36,000 Hispanic-American births. Other people affected include those of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian origin. In addition, more than 2 million people carry the sickle cell gene that allows them to potentially pass the disease on to their children.
Among those with SCD, their red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a "sickle". The sickle-shaped cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. When a person doesn't have enough red blood cells, they have a condition called anemia. Also, when these misshaped blood cells travel through small blood vessels, they can get stuck and clog the blood flow. Whenever this happens, it results in severe pain and organ damage and can cause serious infection.
National Sickle Cell Month Sponsor: Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc.
To learn more, visit http://www.sicklecelldisease.org