September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and it’s the perfect time to recognize this disease and spread awareness regarding the dangers of sickle cell. Read more from Freedom Home Care below.
What is Sickle Cell?
Sickle cell is a genetic red blood cell disorder that is apparent at birth. Healthy red blood cells are round and move through the body to support oxygen to all parts of the body, however, someone with sickle cell does not possess healthy red blood cells. The red blood cells in someone with sickle cell disease become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle”. According to the CDC, “the sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. When they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow.” This lack of blood flow can cause serious problems such as pain, infection, acute chest syndrome or a stroke.
There are different forms of sickle cell. For example, some people inherit two genes: one from each parent. However, there is also a form of SCD where the person has inherited one sickle cell gene and one hemoglobin gene. This is a milder form than having two sickle cell genes. Explore other forms here.
Sickle cell can be diagnosed with a blood test, although it is typically found in a person at birth, or even before birth. Infants do not typically show symptoms because fetal hemoglobin can protect the red blood cells from “sickling”.
Sickle cell is something that worsens over time if left untreated. But treatment may vary from person to person. Available treatment options include:
- Over the Counter Medication
- Stem Cell Transplant
- Bone Marrow Transplant
A bone marrow transplant can cure sickle cell, however there are many health risks involved and the donor much match with the patient. Recognizing sickle cell awareness month can help to spread knowledge regarding this disease and help a family in need.
Home Care Services at Freedom Home Care
Freedom Home Care offers in-home care for seniors in need. While sickle cell is not common amongst the patients we serve, our certified caregivers are happy to help provide support and answer any questions you may have regarding the disease or how to get tested.
At Freedom Home Care, we offer personalized in-home care, personalized elder care, post-surgery care, and Alzheimer’s care to provide comfortable and trustworthy treatment for those who wish to remain in the comfort of their own home. If you are looking for in-home care for your loved one, reach out to us today.