What is Sickle Cell Anaemia?
Sickle Cell Anaemia is a hereditary disorder of the blood which results in anaemia. To have it, one has to inherit the unusual variant sickle haemoglobin – (red part of blood which carries oxygen around our bodies), known for short as Hb S, from both parents. Symptoms of the condition can vary, but the most common is extreme pain called a crises, which affects the quality of life and causes suffering.
Below is a really good video clip which explains how the Screening process works. It also explains what happens when both parents are Sickle Cell carriers and their options. Please take the time to watch it.
What is Sickle Cell Trait?
The Sickle Cell trait is when a person inherits the unusual variant sickle haemoglobin from only one parent. He/she does not have the symptoms of Sickle Cell Anaemia but is a carrier who can pass on the sickling gene to their children. Carriers of the trait are healthy, require no treatment and live normal lives.
Why get tested?
As the sickling gene can be passed on to your children it is important to get tested.
Where can I get tested?
This can be done by having a free simple blood test at your G.P surgery or at a Sickle Cell Test Centre - contact us for a list.
Where can I get advice if I have Sickle Cell Anaemia or Sickle cell Trait?
The Society, along with Sickle Cell Centres and your G.P can provide you with advice on how to get good medical care, counselling and health education.