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Sickle Hemoglobin

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					                    To understand S hemoglobin, it is helpful to understand a little more about
                    our blood. S hemoglobin affects a part of the blood called hemoglobin.

Sickle Hemoglobin
                    Hemoglobin                                     We can inherit genes which cause
                                                                   unusual types of hemoglobin to be
                    One role of the blood is to take the           made, or genes which interfere with the
                    oxygen from the air in the lungs and           amount of hemoglobin made.




  S
                    bring it to all parts of the body. The part
                    of the blood that does this job is the red     The usual adult hemoglobin is called
                    blood cell.                                    hemoglobin A. The less common types
                                                                   of hemoglobin are named by letters,
                    Hemoglobin is the part of the red blood        such as hemoglobin S (sickle hemoglo-
                    cell that carries the oxygen.                  bin), hemoglobin C, or sometimes by
                                                                   names such as hemoglobin Bart’s.




                                                                                          SPERM
                                                                                      A
                                                                                  A
                                                                            EGG




                                                                                           AA
                             HEMOGLOBIN IN RED BLOOD CELLS
                                 CARRIES THE OXYGEN.


                                                                           GENES IN THE SPERM OF THE FATHER AND
                    The way hemoglobin is made in the                      THE EGG OF THE MOTHER DETERMINE THE
                    body depends on the genes a child                               TYPE OF HEMOGLOBIN.

                    inherits from both parents. A gene
                    carries instructions, like what color the
                    child’s skin or eyes will be. Different
                    genes carry different instructions.




                                                             Page 1 of 4
       Cover
What is Sickle Hemoglobin?                         It is important to know that having         People with sickle cell trait can pass       Sickle Cell Anemia
                                                   sickle cell trait means that you only       the sickle cell gene to their children. If   (Hemoglobin SS)
Sickle hemoglobin is a type of hemo-               have one gene for sickle hemoglobin         only one parent has hemoglobin S trait,
globin that is common in people of                 and therefore are only a carrier of the     there is a 50/50 chance that the             When both parents have sickle cell
African ancestry. It is also found in              disease. People with sickle cell trait      children might inherit the trait. There is   trait, there is a one-in-four (25%)
Mexican Americans, and white Ameri-                generally have no health problems           also a 50/50 chance that the children        chance that their child will have sickle
cans, especially those whose families              related to having only one sickle cell      will not inherit the gene for S hemoglo-     cell anemia. They might also have a
originally came from Turkey, Italy,                gene. The trait will not develop into       bin. The chances are the same with           child with sickle cell trait (1-in-2, or
Greece, Spain and other Latin or                   sickle cell disease, which is a serious     each pregnancy.                              50% chance), or a child with only the
Mediterranean countries.                           illness described later in this pamphlet.                                                usual type of hemoglobin (1-in-4, or
                                                   People with sickle cell trait usually                                                    25% chance). The chances are the
Sickle Cell Trait                                  wouldn’t even know they have S trait           USUAL
                                                                                                HEMOGLOBIN
                                                                                                                            HEMOGLOBIN
                                                                                                                              S TRAIT       same with each pregnancy.
                                                   unless they are tested. The impor-
Each child inherits one gene from the              tance of knowing about sickle cell trait
mother and one from the father that                is for future children in the family and                  AA        AS
instructs the body how to make                     other family members.
hemoglobin. An individual who inherits
one gene for the usual hemoglobin A                                                                                                          SICKLE CELL                        SICKLE CELL
and one gene for sickle hemoglobin, is                                                                                AA                        TRAIT                              TRAIT
                                                                         SPERM                          AA
said to have sickle cell trait (also called                          ?                                            USUAL
                                                                                                                              AS

hemoglobin S trait).                                             ?                                USUAL           HEMO-
                                                                                                                            HEMOGLOBIN
                                                           EGG                                  HEMOGLOBIN   AS   GLOBIN
                                                                                                                              S TRAIT                      AS             AS

                                                                                                         HEMOGLOBIN
                      SPERM                                                                                S TRAIT
                  S
              A                                                           ??
       EGG                                                                                                                                                           AS
                                                                                                                                                    AA
                                                                                                                                                                                 SS
                                                                                                                                                                 SICKLE
                                                                                                                                              USUAL               CELL
                                                                                                                                                                  TRAIT          SICKLE
                                                                                                                                            HEMOGLOBIN     AS                  CELL ANEMIA
                       AS                                 TESTING MOM AND DAD CAN ANSWER
                                                        QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CHANCE OF SICKLE
                                                                                                                                                       SICKLE CELL
                                                                CELL IN FUTURE BABIES.
                                                                                                                                                          TRAIT


        SICKLE CELL TRAIT IS NOT A DISEASE
        AND DOES NOT AFFECT A PERSON’S
           MENTAL OR PHYSICAL HEALTH.




                                     Page 2 of 4
                                                                                                                                   Page 3 of 4
For the child who inherits the hemoglo-         Symptoms of Sickle                       It can be helpful for people to know
bin S gene from both parents, only              Cell Anemia
sickle hemoglobin is made in the
                                                                                         about their hemoglobin type so they
body.                                           Symptoms of sickle cell anemia           can make informed decisions regarding
                                                include a higher risk for certain        family planning. Testing and counseling
                      SPERM
                  S                             infections to occur and can also         can be arranged, and questions answered
              S                                 include painful episodes and an          about sickle hemoglobin or any other kind
        EGG
                                                enlarged spleen. Sickle cell anemia
                                                                                         of inherited hemoglobin condition by
                                                does not affect intelligence. There is
                                                no cure for sickle cell anemia, but      contacting:
                       SS
                                                there are treatments for the problems
                                                caused by the disease. It is very
                                                important that people with sickle cell
                                                anemia receive regular medical care.

When a person has sickle cell anemia           Other Types Of Sickle
the red blood cells sometimes change
                                               Cell Disease
from a very flexible round shape into a
rigid crescent or “sickle” shape.
                                               Sickle cell anemia is the most com-
Sickle-shaped red blood cells can                                                                 Newborn Screening Program
                                               mon type of sickle cell disease.
prevent the usual flow of blood and                                                                 1610 NE 150th Street
                                               However, there are some other types
oxygen to body organs.                                                                              Shoreline, WA 98155
                                               that are caused when a child inherits
                                                                                                       (206) 361-2902
                                               one sickle cell gene and one gene for
                                               another less common hemoglobin type
                                               such as hemoglobin C or D. Sickle
                                               cell disease can also be caused by a
    ROUND RED BLOOD CELLS FLOW THROUGH         condition called sickle beta thalas-
            SMALL BLOOD VESSELS.
                                               semia. This occurs when a child
                                               inherits one S (sickle cell) gene and
                                               one defective gene that can’t make
                                               enough of the usual type of hemoglobin
                                                                                                                                Revised 02/14/2000
                                               (A). These other types of sickle cell
                                               disease can also cause many health
      SICKLE-SHAPED RED BLOOD CELLS CAN
    BLOCK THE FLOW OF BLOOD IN SMALL BLOOD     problems beginning in infancy.
                   VESSELS.




                                                                                                                Back Cover
                                         Page 4 of 4

				
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