Sickle Cell: Do You Know When To Seek Help?

Successful surgeon.

Do you know how to handle sickle cell emergencies? Can you recognize the symptoms of a sickle cell emergency?

What do you know about sickle cell?

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Normal round red blood cells move easily through your blood vessels, taking oxygen to every part of your body. But in sickle cell disease, some of these normal, round red blood cells become shaped like a crescent (the name “sickle cell” comes from the crescent shape of the cell, similar to the farm tool with a curved blade that can cut crops like wheat) when oxygen levels are low. The sickle-shaped blood cells easily stick together, blocking blood vessels, and stopping the oxygen they contain from getting through. This process can cause a lot of pain. It can also hurt organs, muscles and bones.