Sickle cell anemia is a serious blood disease that affects many

Some people in Tennessee are disabled due to the blood disease, sickle cell anemia. Sickle cell anemia is a blood disease in which a person does not have an adequate amount of red blood cells to provide their body with oxygen. While normal blood cells are round and flexible, in those with sickle cell anemia, they are crescent shaped, inflexible and sticky. This makes them more likely to become lodged in small blood vessels. This can slow the flow of oxygen to the affected area or block it altogether. Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disease.

There are a variety of symptoms associated with sickle cell anemia. One, of course, is anemia which causes fatigue when the body cannot get an adequate supply of oxygen. Another major symptom is pain in one’s chest, abdomen, joints and bones. Sometimes, the pain is very intense, lasting for weeks and requiring hospitalization.

 

A person with sickle cell anemia may also get frequent infections. Sickle cells can harm an individual’s spleen, making that individual more susceptible to infections, for example, pneumonia. Some of these infections can be life-threatening. And, a person with sickle cell anemia could have issues with his or her vision. This is because the sickle cells plug up the minute blood vessels in one’s eyes, which could harm a person’s retina.

 

The only way sickle cell anemia could be cured is through a bone marrow transplant. But, it is difficult to locate a matching donor, and the transplant procedure is very risky and could be fatal. Therefore, the goal of treatment for those with sickle cell anemia is usually to prevent complications and reduce symptoms. Such treatments include medication, a blood transfusion or a bone marrow transplant. Those with sickle cell anemia will need to see their doctor on a regular basis.

 

Sickle cell anemia is a serious disease that could make it difficult for a person to live a normal, productive life. Therefore, it is listed in the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book’s” listing of impairments. It can be a disabling disease, that keeps a person from being able to be self-sufficient, making Social Security Disability benefits all the more important.

Source: MayoClinic.org, “Sickle cell anemia,” accessed on July 3, 2016