September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Sickle Cell is the most common inherited blood disorder and it affects millions of people worldwide. For those of you that are not aware, Sickle Cell Disease is a chronic disorder that causes pain all over, infections, organ failures and other tissue damage even skin infections and for some a loss of eyesight, blood clots and strokes. Most sickle cell patients deal with constant debilitating pain that most often leads to hospitalization.
Some facts and figures of Sickle Cell Disease:
- It is an inherited blood disorder that can cause severe pain and permanent damage to the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, bones and spleen.
- Most common in Africans and African-Americans. It is also found in other ethnic and racial groups, including people from South and Central America, the Caribbean, Mediterranean countries, and India.
- More than 2 million people have the sickle cell trait that allows them potentially to pass the disease on to their children. You can have the trait and not have any signs or symptoms of SCD. Both parents have to have the trait to have a child with SCD.