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Sickle Cell Anaemia

What is Sickle Cell Anaemia?

Sickle cell anaemia is a blood condition affecting haemoglobin production. Haemoglobin is a protein in the blood which carries oxygen around our bodies. Sickle cell anaemia is passed from parent to child in genes. Genes carry information about human characteristics such as eye colour, hair colour and haemoglobin. Sickle cell anaemia is inherited. Sickle cell anaemia is not contagious or transmitted by germs.

Sometimes changes occur to genes, resulting in medical conditions. Such changes occur to beta (b) globin genes in sickle cell disease:

Due to the abnormal haemoglobin produced in people with sickle cell anaemia, some red blood cells form irregular sickle or crescent moon shaped cells. These cells reduce the amount of oxygen carried around the body causing anaemia. Sickle cells can also form clots narrow blood vessels causing pain episodes known as vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs).

Other symptoms include:

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