Enterprise Pediatrician discusses sickle cell traits
June is National Sickle Cell awareness month. Sickle Cell is a lifelong inherited blood disorder, where one gets a gene from each parent.
The blood cells are shaped like a half moon instead of a disc. This causes a person pain, trouble with breathing and vision, and increases the risk of stroke and kidney disease. There is no cure for a majority of people with sickle cell, but some can get stem cell treatment for the disease.
"In the United States, fortunately we test all newborns for sickle cell at birth,” said Dr.Jacob Edwards, Enterprise Pediatric Clinic Pediatrician. “It's that heal prick test that they get when they are in the hospital before they go home."
A lot of parents don't know they have the sickle cell trait, because there are no symptoms. Dr. Edwards advises people to talk to their doctor about genetic testing to increase awareness of the disease.