Raising Awareness of the Risks of Sickle Cell Disease

By birthinjury on September 2, 2011

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the United States. Although the majority of those affected are Hispanic or African American, SCD occurs in people of many different racial and ethnic backgrounds. As September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, it is a good opportunity for the public to increase their understanding of sickle cell disease, and, most importantly, the effects of the disease.

SCD is a genetic blood disorder that affects the body’s red blood cells. The cells, which are normally a circular shape, become crescent (or sickle-shaped) and hard and sticky, causing them to become easily stuck in small blood vessels and block blood flow. Lack of blood flow causes severe pain, organ damage, and severe infections. Infection is one of the most dangerous risks for a child with SCD. In addition, because sickle cells die sooner than normal red blood cells, the body suffers from a constant shortage of red blood cells, also known as anemia. According to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA), other complications caused by SCD may include the formation of gallstones and jaundice.

SCD is an incurable deadly disease. Even with early diagnosis and proper health management, a child born with SCD will still suffer from pain and organ/tissue damage. Living with SCD can create physical, emotional, and financial hardships.

Healthcare providers must take comprehensive and heed the significance of family medical history and perform all appropriate prenatal screening tests to provide parents with the necessary knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their pregnancy.

If your child was diagnosed with sickle cell disease and your physician failed to perform proper prenatal screenings, or failed to identify the condition in prenatal screenings, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact the experienced New Jersey Sickle Cell Anemia attorneys of Blume Forte at 973-635-5400 to learn more about your legal rights and options.

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