Sickle cell is a group of disorders that affects haemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body. Sickle cell disorder causes episodes or “crises” of extreme pain, when blood cells deform (or “sickle”). You cannot “catch” it. One is born with the disorder, it is life long, and crises can begin in early childhood. Complications can be life-threatening, at any age. ... ||more
Understanding the disorder is vital. Many patients can reduce the frequency of their crises by careful management of their general health - and by limiting their exposure to risk factors such as dehydration, poor nutrition, stress, tiredness, and cold. Patients and their families also need information about the risks of passing on the trait or the full-blown disorder. ... ||more
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