Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. In SCD, the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle.” People with SCD can live full lives and enjoy most of the activities that other people do. If you have SCD, it’s important to learn how to stay as healthy as possible.
Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone who has SCD, the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle”. The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. Also, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems such infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.