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patient education

Get Screened to Know Your Sickle Cell Status

key information

source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


What is sickle cell screening?

Screening for sickle cell means testing a person’s blood for abnormal types of hemoglobin:

• Hemoglobin is a substance inside the red blood cell that delivers oxygen to all organs in the body.

• There are many types of altered hemoglobin¸ but people with SCD or SCT make a form of hemoglobin which is abnormal and it is called hemoglobin S or sickle hemoglobin.

• A blood test for hemoglobin S or sickle hemoglobin can tell you if your hemoglobin is normal, you have SCD or SCT (carrier status) or if you have another type of abnormal hemoglobin.


Why should I (or my child) get screened for sickle cell?

• Getting screened to know your sickle cell status is extremely important at child-bearing age because SCD and SCT can be passed down to children through their parents’ genes.

• Knowing if you have sickle cell trait is important because you could have a baby with SCD if your partner also has SCD, SCT or another abnormal hemoglobin gene (like hemoglobin C or Beta-thalassemia).


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