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Health Information For Parents
If someone inherits one sickle cell gene, they have sickle cell trait. They usually do not develop symptoms of sickle cell disease.
If someone inherits two sickle cell genes, they have sickle cell disease. People with sickle cell disease need lifelong medical care.
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder in which red blood cells are not round, but curved. These curved red blood cells block small blood vessels. Blood can’t move as it should, which can lead to pain and organ damage.
Someone with sickle cell trait has one sickle cell disease gene and one normal gene. If that person has a child, the child has a 50% chance of inheriting the sickle cell gene.
If both parents have sickle cell trait, their child can inherit:
Families with sickle cell trait should talk to a genetic counselor to understand their risk of sickle cell disease and other blood disorders.
Sickle cell trait doesn’t usually cause symptoms. Many people have the gene and don’t know it. Doctors can do a simple blood test (usually from a finger prick) to see if someone has sickle cell trait. Pregnant women and newborn babies usually get a blood test for the sickle cell gene during routine care.
Most people with sickle cell trait never develop symptoms and do not need any treatment. Very rarely, someone with sickle cell trait can have symptoms, especially if they:
Anyone who does have symptoms needs to see a doctor who specializes in blood disorders (a hematologist).
People with sickle cell trait should tell all their doctors that they have it, just in case they develop symptoms.
Sickle cell crisis is when sickled cells clog small blood vessels, causing extreme pain and other symptoms. Learn more, including how to help prevent a crisis and what to do if one does happen.
Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder that makes red blood cells change shape and cause health problems. Find out more in this article for teens.
Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder that makes red blood cells change shape and cause health problems. Find out how to help your child.
Sickle cell disease is a disease of the blood. Red blood cells are shaped like sickles, and can get stuck, especially inside smaller blood vessels.
At 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.
Find out what the experts say.
Advances in genetic testing help doctors diagnose and treat certain illnesses. The type of test done depends on which condition a doctor checks for.
Genes play an important role in how we look and act, and even in whether we get sick. This article gives the lowdown on genes, genetic disorders, and new research into gene therapy.
Alpha thalassemia is a blood disorder in which the body has a problem producing alpha globin, a component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body.
Beta thalassemia is a blood disorder in which the body has a problem producing beta globin, a component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body.
Anemia happens when there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells in the body. It can be caused by many things, including dietary problems, medical treatments, and inherited conditions.
Here are the basics about the life-sustaining fluid called blood.
Read the basics about genetics, including how certain illnesses, or increased risks for certain illnesses, pass from generation to generation.
Why does one kid have green eyes while another kid’s eyes are brown? It’s all in the genes! Find out how genes work, what happens when there are problems with genes, and more.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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