September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month!

“Unlocking Hope, Healing, and Awareness: Embrace Sickle Cell Awareness Month!”

Schedule an immunization appointment with us HERE.


What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic blood disorder that affects the shape and function of your red blood cells. Normally, red blood cells are round and flexible, allowing them to move easily through blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of your body. In people with sickle cell disease, their red blood cells can become rigid and take on a C-shape or  “sickle”  shape.1  This causes cells to get stuck in blood vessels, causing blockages that lead to pain, organ damage, and other complications. It’s important to work closely with healthcare professionals to manage the condition and stay as healthy as possible.


Did you know?

  • SCD is diagnosed with a simple blood test and can be diagnosed in the womb. 
  • It is most often found at birth during routine newborn screening tests at the hospital. 
  • People cannot catch SCD from being around a person who has it. 
  • SCD can lead to health complications such as a “Pain Episode or Crisis”, infections (ex. flu, meningitis, and hepatitis), eye diseases, stroke, anemia, and hand-foot syndrome.
  • Sickle cell disease affects not only the blood but also various organs, including the lungs, liver, kidneys, and spleen, potentially leading to long-term health challenges.
  • To date, the only cure for SCD is a bone marrow or stem transplant.


How to Manage It?

–  Lifestyle Behaviors

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Try not to get too hot or too cold
  • Try to avoid places or situations in high altitudes (ex. Flying, mountain climbing, or cities with high altitudes)
  • Wash your hands often to help prevent an infection

–  Medical Screenings and Interventions 

  • Be up to date on your vaccines! It is important that children with SCD get all regular childhood vaccines and adults get the flu vaccine every year, as well as the pneumococcal vaccine and any others recommended by a doctor.
  • Get your yearly eye exams and physicals 
  • Get your blood and irons levels checked regularly
  • Get blood transfusions! This is for people who have severe anemia. Blood transfusions help prevent infections, enlargement of the spleen, and strokes.2


Schedule an immunization appointment with us HERE.