The sickle cell haemoglobin in the red blood cells causes all the problems of sickle cell disorder.

Normally, haemoglobin is quite fluid and red blood cells are flexible, like little bags of water. They can flow smoothly through even the smallest blood vessels and awkward corners of the body.

But sometimes when sickle haemoglobin is short of oxygen it makes long thin crystals inside the red blood cells. The crystals make the cells stiff and they can get stuck inside the blood vessels. They block the vessels and stop blood passing, so the tissues round about are short of blood and become painful. With time the jam fades away, but it can cause a lot of pain while it is there, and sometimes it leaves permanent damage to the tissue at that place.

Favourite place for the red cells to get stuck in small children are the spleen, the chest and the ends of bones in the writs or ankles. Favourite places for them to get stuck in adults are the hips or shoulders, or chest. But they can get stuck anywhere, and can cause any kind of damage. For instance, if they get stuck in the brain they can cause a stroke.

A child with Sickle Cell Disorder is a “delicate” child. Because of Blood Circulation Complications are possible anywhere in the body:-

Management of SCDNo cure yet, but can be well-controlled

  • Prophylactic Penicillin
  • Folic Acid
  • Immunisation against pneumococcal infections (Prevenar with primary immunisations at 2; 3; 4 months. Pneumovax at 2 years)
  • Parental Education    
  • Symptomatic Treatment

Signs and symptoms of SCD