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Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is also known as Sickle Cell Anemia, Hemoglobin S, or SS disease. SCD is a group of inherited (genetic) blood disorders that affect hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.1 Normally, red blood cells are disc shaped, and flexible so they move easily through blood vessels. In people with SCD, red blood cells are crescent or “sickle” shaped. These sickled cells can become hard and sticky, causing them to get stuck and clog the blood flow through small blood vessels. This can cause complications like pain episodes (or pain “crisis”), stroke, pulmonary embolism, acute chest syndrome, enlarged spleen, vision loss, leg ulcers, and damage to organs like the liver, heart or kidneys.1-4

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Blood transfusion is the major, non-curative treatment used to manage the short and long-term symptoms of SCD.1 Ongoing blood transfusions lead to iron overload, which causes organ damage and increased death rates in people with SCD unless treated using iron chelators.5,6

 

The incidence of SCD is estimated to be between ~300,000 - 400,000 globally each year with the majority of the patients are in sub-Saharan African (kato), the also occurs in mid. eastern, Mediterranean and India2,7