The voice of the patient- sickle cell disease | oneSCDvoice
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The voice of the patient- sickle cell disease

key information

source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration


Sickle cell disease refers to a group of genetic disorders in which a patient’s red blood cells undergo a change of shape known as sickling. This shape change disrupts the normal flow of the red blood cells through the blood vessels of the body, ultimately preventing tissues from receiving adequate oxygen. Sickle cell disease affects approximately 100,000 people in the United States and millions of people worldwide. The disease occurs in 1 of 500 African-American births and in 1 of 36,000 Hispanic births. There are several different genetic variants of sickle cell disease, and disease complications and severity can vary widely across the disease spectrum.

Sickle cell disease can affect every body system. Most patients experience both chronic and episodic pain, and acute pain crisis is the most common reason for emergency department use by patients with sickle cell disease. Other complications of sickle cell disease include susceptibility to infection, stroke (more common in children than adults), acute chest syndrome, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, leg ulcers, priapism (unwanted painful erection), delayed growth and sexual maturation, and pregnancy complications.

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