Sickle Cell Anemia

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Sickle cell anemia is a disease that commonly affects people from the Middle East region, Africa and people with Indian ancestry. Sickle cell anemia is contracted by an individual who inherits two genes of sickle cell, this is inherited from one of each parent, and this infection causes the red blood cell to change its shape to a crescent. The main component in effect is hemoglobin, this is a red blood cell component. Hemoglobin is composed of protein molecules in red blood cells that is used as a vessel to transport oxygen from the lungs all the way to body tissues and from these body tissues it carries carbon dioxide back to the lungs ("Sickle Cell Anemia :: Health, Medicine, Cells", 2016).

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In sickle cell anemia, the hemoglobin is messed up and in the long run this causes the red blood cell to be sickle shaped, this impedes it from the normal blood flow in the arteries, veins and capillaries. Sickle cell condition has one cause but it affects people in different ways, in people have different symptoms and treatment procedures. For sickle cell anemia to occur, a sickle cell gene must passed on from the parents to the offspring, and this makes the child have two defective sickle cell genes. The sickle cell condition makes the body to manufacture defective hemoglobin. Just as said previously, the hemoglobin in a protein component that transports oxygen from the lungs and takes back carbon dioxide back to the lungs for exhalation.

A normal individual usually has red blood cells with hemoglobin type A, on the other hand an individual with sickle cell anemia usually has hemoglobin type S. The normal red blood cells always have a round and smooth shape and hence this makes it easy for them to travel through blood vessels. On the flip side of the coin, individuals with sickle cell anemia have an abnormally shaped red blood cells, this cause difficulty in perforating through small blood vessels like capillaries inside body tissues. This difficulty can cause some clogging in the perforations in the blood vessels hence causing tissues deprivation of oxygen. Fact is that sickle cells have a shorter time span as opposed to the normal red blood cells. The lifespan of a normal red blood cell is usually approximated to 120 days while sickle cells can last 10-20 days, this results in anemia ("Sickle Cell Anemia: Practice Essentials, Background, Anatomy", 2016).

Sickle cell has a quite a number of symptoms that vary from one individual to the other. All the symptoms that a given patient displays is always as a result of the sickle cells in the body. Damage occurs in the organs due to deprivation of oxygen and this eventually causes the patient to experience pain. The intensity of the pain and the duration it takes always depends with the activities that take place in that specific organ. Many organs in the body fail mainly due to lack of oxygen, this includes the liver, lungs, liver, heat and kidneys, and this is due to the damage that occurs in deprivation of oxygen. The most common symptoms that patients experience when they afflicted by sickle cell anemia includes, fatigue, pain, bacterial infection, chest pains, pains in the joints and the abdomen, anemia, poor eye sight and other body deteriorating indicators. Fatigue that overcomes the body can be attributed to the death of sickle cells. Bone marrows are the main production sites for red blood cells, in the case of an individual with sickle cell, the bone marrow has to work a lot to produce red blood cell because of the short life span, and they have to replace the dead ones and this uses more energy ("Sickle Cell Anemia: Practice Essentials, Background, Anatomy", 2016).

Episodes of pain can be experienced by patients while at the same time experiencing fatigue, the pain emanates from the deprivation of oxygen in body organs, this is due to the sickle cells blocking access into body tissues due to their blocky shapes. The body immune system is impaired mostly due to failure of many organs like the spleen that help boost immunity in the body, this makes the body vulnerable to infections. All the above symptoms can be an indicator of a life span reduced by approximately 30 years. Most individuals affected living with sickle cell anemia do not have a long healthy life.

Fact of the matter is that sickle cell anemia cant be said to have only one major cause, it shows a listed number of signs and symptoms, where varied treatment schemes are used in different patients. There is no specific cure for sickle anemia in medicine currently, the options available are a variety of drugs that can be used to treat many other diseases that come along with sickle cell anemia. Mostly when experiencing mild pain a patient is given over the counter drugs. Patients are usually advice to take a lot of fluids and take long rests. If the pain levels increases patients are administered acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Patients use Hydroxyurea when they experience a lot of pain, the drug reduces pain and prevents pain episodes and crises. Other mechanisms that can be taken into consideration is blood transfusion and surgery. Bone marrow stem cell transplants are under research currently, other medical techniques on gene therapy and the use of nitric oxide are all under study. The use of Nitric Oxide will he assist make the sickle cells a little less sticky in the sense that blood flow and the fluidity of the bold will remain intact for easy blood flow in capillaries. Another drug is Gemcitabine is similar hydroxyurea which helps in pain suppression ("Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc.", 2016).

Sickle cell anemia an inherited gene defection that when received by a child from both parents lead to the development of the affliction. The development of the S type hemoglobin is what causes the process of bodily deterioration which eventually causes pain and inflammation of joints. Most of the important organs usually fail due to deprivation of oxygen. Symptom vary between people, episodes of extreme pain is usually felt by many patients, and other people have milder attacks which is an indicator of the variations of the disease in different people. Till date research has not come up with an exact cure for sickle cell anemia, many treatments are available for the diseases that come along with sickle cell anemia. Research on finding medication is on and with advancement in medicine, a cure will be found sooner or later.


Sickle Cell Anemia :: Health, Medicine, Cells. (2016). Retrieved 27 March 2016, from

Sickle Cell Anemia: Practice Essentials, Background, Anatomy. (2016). Retrieved 27 March 2016, from

Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc.. (2016). Retrieved 27 March 2016, from

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