Do you know what Sickle Cell Anemia is?
Sickle cell anemia is a hereditary disease that affects the way your blood cells are formed. When the people who are affected are born, they have the abnormal form of their cells in the shape of a farming tool called a sickle (or a crescent moon). The sickle cell will then attack the healthy red blood cell by getting caught in a blood vessel, causing it to stab the other blood cells and killing them off. These cells have an abnormal type of hemoglobin, which is an oxygen-carrying protein that provides red blood cells their color. The type of hemoglobin that sickle cells have is Hemoglobin S. They form "crystals" in the RBC (red blood cell) when the cells release oxygen while flowing inside tissue. This is what leads to the healthy, round RBC turning into the twisted, ridged "sickle" cell.