Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a condition that affects people around the world. Due to the serious health problems associated with SCD there is a need to know more about the disease.
The Many Faces of Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects people of many racial and ethnic groups. In the United States, 90,000 to 100,000 people―mainly Blacks or African Americans―have SCD. The disease occurs among about 1 of every 500 Black or African-American births and among about 1 out of every 36,000 Hispanic-American births. Other people affected include those of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian origin. In addition, more than 2 million people carry the sickle cell gene that allows them potentially to pass the disease on to their children.
About Sickle Cell Disease
Among those with SCD, their red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a "sickle". The sickle-shaped cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. When a person doesn't have enough red blood cells, they have a condition called anemia. Also, when these misshaped blood cells travel through small blood vessels, they can get stuck and clog the blood flow. Whenever this happens, it results in severe pain and organ damage and can cause serious infections.
People with SCD can live productive lives and enjoy most of the activities that people without SCD do. These are some things that people with SCD can do to stay as healthy as possible:
- Get regular checkups. Regular health checkups with a primary care doctor can help prevent some serious problems.
Prevent infections. Common illnesses, like influenza quickly can become dangerous for a child with SCD. The best defense is to take simple steps to help prevent infections.
- Learn healthy habits.People with SCD should drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day and eat healthy food. They also should try not to get too hot, too cold, or too tired.
- Look for clinical studies.New clinical research studies are happening all the time to find better treatments and, hopefully, a cure for SCD. People who take part in these studies might have access to new medicines and treatments.
- Get support. People with SCD should find a patient support group or other organization in the community that can provide information, assistance, and support.
Sickle Cell Disease and the National Urban League
The National Urban League’s Health and Quality of Life Division uses strategic approaches to eliminate disparities in health care by introducing new awareness and prevention programs, expanding existing outreach initiatives and by connecting clients to high quality health care, treatment and support. The National Urban League advocates for high quality health care for all in and effort to ensure that every American has access to quality and affordable health care solutions.
The National Urban League is not a medical institute and or facility and thus does not dispense medical advise or treaments. All information on this website should be vetted and researched. National Urban League also recommeds that you consut with your primary physician or health care mangement team before taking any medicine and or pursuing any treatment.
Sickle Cell Disease and the Nation's Children's Hospital
Sickle Cell Transition Education Project (STEP)
The Sickle Cell program at Children’s National Medical Center is one of the busiest in the country treating more than 1,400 patients each year. Advocating for patients with sickle cell is a key initiative at CHAI where we are collaborating with a number of national organizations to bring awareness of the disease to the forefront, and work to improve the lives of pediatric patients who suffer from the debilitating symptoms associated with the disease.
- Learn More About Sickle Cell Disease
- Children's National Sickle Cell Pulmonary Clinic
- Children's National Sickle Cell Research
- Children's National Sickle cell Transition Education Project (STEP)