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Even though there are several types of anemia, this page focuses on Sickle Cell Anemia.

Sickle Cell anemia is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Normal red blood cells are round like doughnuts, and they move through small blood tubes in the body to deliver oxygen. Sickle red blood cells become hard, sticky and shaped like sickles used to cut wheat (to see exactly what a wheat sickle looks like click here). Sickle cells clog the flow and break apart. This can cause pain, damage and a low blood count, or anemia.

Sickle cell is in many nationalities including African Americans, Arabs, Greeks, Italians, Latin Americans and Native Americans. All races should be screened at birth. Most states now perform the sickle cell test babies are born.

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