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Posted September 1, 2011
ACH Observes Sickle Cell Awareness Month
Joshua is a Sickle Cell patient at All Children's Hospital who told his story for the 2010 All Children's Hospital Telethon

Every September, All Children's Hospital observes Sickle Cell Awareness Month. In the common variations of this inherited blood disorder, the red blood cells change shape - from a round shape to a "c" or "sickle" shape, causing red blood cells to clump together. This interferes with the normal circulation of healthy, oxygenated blood through the patient's body. Sickle cell does not prevent people from enjoying a full and active life! This year All Children's Hospital is also helping by promoting registration in the Be The Match Blood and Marrow Donor Registry

Did You Know...

  • Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited condition that causes red blood cells to break easily
  • Sickle Cell Trait is a form of Sickle Cell disease from which people rarely show any symptoms and usually lead a normal life, but can pass the gene along to their children
  • Patients with Sickle Cell Disease have a lower than normal number of red blood cells (anemia)
  • Chronic anemia can cause fatigue, decreased stamina and poor exercise tolerance
  • Red blood cells can become rigid (sickle) and block blood flow past the point of sickling
  • Sickling results in pain crises and can cause injury to the bones, lungs, spleen and other organs
  • Patients also have a higher risk of bacterial infection and must seek urgent medical care for fever
  • Patients benefit from education about their illness, regular medical check ups, and a healthy lifestyle
  • All Children's Hospital provides comprehensive preventative care to Sickle Cell patients through our Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders

Learn more about Sickle Cell Disease in our Health Information library, from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Sickle Cell Awareness feature, or from the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. Educational resources for children with Sickle Cell Disease can be found at sicklecellkids.org.