Sickle Cell Awareness Month: What you need to know to stay informed

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BINGHAMPTON, N.Y. (WETM) – September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month!

The month is designated by Congress to help focus attention on the need for research and treatment of Sickle Cell disease.

Sickle Cell Anemia is an inherited red blood cell disorder where there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.

Sickle Cell is caused by a mutation in the gene that tells your body to make the iron-rich compound that makes blood red and enables red blood cells to carry oxygen from your lungs throughout your body.

There are millions of people who don’t know they have the sickle cell trait because the trait usually does not cause illness.

The disease usually affects people of the African American community.

Treatments include medications, blood transfusions, and rarely a bone-marrow transplant.

Dr. Jonathan Kloss, MD, Director of Hematology for Our lady of Lourdes Memorial/ Preventative Family Care, said if you carry the trait, seeing a genetic counselor is best before trying to conceive. It can help you understand your risk of having a child with Sickle Cell Anemia.

Be aware of what the blood count is and that they are not anemic and that there isn’t any indication based on the CBC that there could be anemia.

Dr. Jonathan Kloss, MD, Director of Hematology for Our lady of Lourdes Memorial

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