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patient education

Sickle Beta Plus Thalassemia Disease

key information

source: New England Pediatric Sickle Cell Consortium

year: 2017

summary/abstract:

Sickle Beta + Thalassemia (Sickle BA-ta Plus Thal-a-SEE-me-a) is a “mild” form of sickle cell disease. Your child’s red blood cells contain an abnormal hemoglobin called hemoglobin S or sickle hemoglobin in addition to a small amount of the normal hemoglobin called hemoglobin A. The red blood cells have a defect called beta plus thalassemia, which results in cells which are small in size and more pale than usual.

Instead of appearing round or donut shaped, your child’s red blood cells are somewhat small, pale, and misshapen. Some may appear sickled or banana shaped.

Because sickle beta plus thalassemia is inherited, it is a lifelong disorder. There is no treatment or cure. Your child will always have a mild anemia or slightly low blood count. This may cause occasional tiredness or weakness.

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