Instructor Preparation - Online Blended Part 1

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Sickle Cell

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Sickle Cell Anaemia: Understanding the Condition


Sickle cell anaemia is a genetic disorder affecting blood cells, characterized by abnormal sickle or crescent-shaped red blood cells.


The condition is inherited from parents and affects haemoglobin, the substance responsible for carrying oxygen in the blood.


Sickle cell is more common in individuals of African, Mediterranean, South American, Central American, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern origin.


  • Decreased Oxygen Delivery: Sickle-shaped cells deliver less oxygen to tissues due to interrupted blood flow.
  • Increased Risk of Stroke: Blockage of blood vessels to the brain can lead to strokes.


Symptoms typically appear between four to six months of age and include:

  • Pain: Severe pain in arms, legs, back, and stomach, triggered by various factors.
  • Jaundice: Yellowing of the eyes and skin.
  • Fatigue: Irritability and tiredness.
  • Swelling: In hands, feet, joints, and bones.


Effective management strategies include:

  • Preventive Measures: Avoiding dehydration, overexertion, and sudden temperature changes.
  • Pain Control: Providing warmth, massage, painkillers, and relaxation techniques.
  • Emergency Response: Activating medical services and contacting parents in severe cases.


Understanding the causes, symptoms, and management of sickle cell anaemia is crucial for timely intervention and improved quality of life for affected individuals.