It affects 1 in 500 African Americans, whose life expectancy average is 45 years. It costs the US approximately $475 million per year in hospitalizations and the worse part is most medical professionals know very little if anything about it. Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder, which causes severe pain, damage to vital organs, and for some death in childhood or early adulthood. Although there is currently no cure for Sickle Cell, we have made progress in the past few years. With a few effective treatments and appropriate medical care have greatly improved survival and the quality of life for persons with sickle cell disease.
Carriers of Sickle Cell Disease often have pain attacks and other medical problems that can place them in the hospital if it cannot be managed at home. Many times the carriers themselves have to educate the doctors and nurses about their illness. These same medical professionals unaware of the seriousness of the illness then send the patients home in severe pain. Many medical facilities are inadequately equipped or staffed to care for those with Sickle Cell. Furthermore because of the effects of the disease a carrier’s quality of life can be gravely diminished.