September is Sickle Cell Awareness month. It’s a chance to bring attention to current treatments, potential cures and continue to raise awareness about Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “SCD is a genetic condition that is present at birth. It is inherited when a child receives two sickle cell genes—one from each parent.”
SCD is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone who has SCD, the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle”. The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. Also, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems such infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.
SCD affects millions of people throughout the world and is particularly common among those whose ancestors came from sub-Saharan Africa. The American Society of Hematology writes, “Approximately 70,000 to 100,000 Americans have sickle cell disease, the most common form of an inherited blood disorder.”
- SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 365 Black or African-American births.
- SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic-American births.
Below is an infographic from the CD titled, “3 Tips About Sickle Cell Disease Every Emergency Provider Needs To Know.” Check it out and let us know what you think. Raising awareness around the health issues affecting the people of our state is another way we are working toward our long-term goal to one day make Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!