Sickle Cell Anemia
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Toddler disorders came in a variety of complications with the sickle cell anemia being one of them. Commonly referred to as the sickle cell disease, the disorder is experienced in the blood with the causative agent being an inherited hemoglobin that is abnormal. It is this abnormal hemoglobin that is responsible for the distortion of the red blood cells is a process referred to as suckling thus the name Sickle Cell. The affected cells are left fragile and easily get ruptured. As a result of the rupturing of the red blood cells, their number decreases eventually leading to anemia. It is this condition that is termed as Sickle Cell anemia. The sickled cells assume irregular shapes that can easily get the blood vessels blocked leading to tissues and organs damage which is a painful experience.
Of all the anemia cases, sickle cell forms the most common blood anemia that is inherited. The disorder mainly affects toddlers and is common with African Americans and Africans. Statistics have it that approximately fifty thousand African Americans in United States are afflicted with this disorder in it most severe form (Peterson 2008). One striking feature about sickle cell is that it is inherited in a form referred to as autosomal in which the gene fail to be linked to a related sex chromosome resulting to a recessive condition where the disorder traits are inherited in an autosomal dominant trait form. Patients suffering from sickle cell are born with two genes of sickle cell each form the parents.
Articles on sickle cell anemia
The complexity of the disorder and increased concerns has lead to several articles being published on the diseases. Though varying in the topics being discussed, there are some striking issues that most writers cannot afford to skip. Most articles focus on the impact of the disorder in society, the most affected races and age, possible medication and care of the affected patients and further research on better means of handling and dealing with the diseases. This research paper will concentrate on some of the already published articles on Sickle Cell anemia analyzing and summarizing the authors’ contribution in trying to offer solutions, recommendation and possible further research.
The journal of Medscape on drugs, diseases and products by Jeffrey L Arnold is tackles sickle cell anemia by breaking down the disorder into several features about the disease namely; its background, anatomy, pathaphysiology, epidemiology, prognosis and patient education. Considering its background, Jeffery regards sickle cell disease as a genetic disorder that is caused by hemoglobin that is muted in the blood and refers to this of hemoglobin as hemoglobin S (HbS). Jeffery research states that the most common type of Sickle Cell anemia is the Sickle cell disease (SCD) and its variants are genetic disorders resulting from the presence of a mutated form of hemoglobin, hemoglobin S (HbS) (FindArticles.com 2011). The most common form of SCD is the homozygous kind found in North America. This type of the disease results in significant mortality and morbidity to people with Mediterranean origin and Africans. Most of the individual suffering from this type of sickle cell anemia undergoes vaso-occlusive crises but they vary depending on their frequency. However, each patient has a pattern of the occurrences that is consistent. This article concentrates on this particular type of the diseases giving every single detail about it.
The patients will have their bones and joints experience low pain levels that are chronic. Special cases of this type of sickle cell occur when the carriers bare both HbS allele at the same time have a HbA allele in their hemoglobin. Such patients develop resistance to the type of malaria that is caused by Plasmodium falciparum (FindArticles.com, 2011). It is this resistance that is behind the persistence and distribution of this kind of gene in areas with malaria endemic. In other areas where malaria is not a problem like the United States, the trait poses a problem to children whose genes have both sickle cell genes from their respective parents. The article goes further to state the period and time in which sickle cell manifest itself. The disease mainly affects the toddlers and manifests itself as early as six months old. Jeffery suggests possible means of detecting the disease in its early state by calling for the need to screen children in order to treat and control the disease in its early stages.
Under anatomy, the article explains the anatomic distribution of the disease. In most cases the disease occurs mainly in the diaphyses found in the children small tubular and subchnondrium and metaphyses. In an effort to explain how the above occurrences come about, Jeffery brings out the phenomenon in which the HbS comes about as a result of mutation arising in the codon of gene chains (FindArticles.com, 2011). The result is a polymer formation and changes in molecular and solubility stability. There are these resulting conditions that are behind the sickling syndromes. The epidemiology section has it that the disease is prone among the blacks with varying frequencies in areas around the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean. Those from central Africa are at the highest risk of experiencing renal failure. Jeffery statistical research indicates that more than eight percent of the black Americans have the sickle gene. Of all the American population, more than two million carry the gene with most of them being from African American ancestry (FindArticles.com, 2011). The article also takes a look at sickle cell prognosis and regards it as controlled and guarded. Its aim is to help the patients to have a life style that is close to normal and has few morbidity. In addition to the rich researched work offered in this article, it goes further to educate the patients about the disease. This is to enable them identify the disorder as early as possible so that they can seek treatment and help as prompt as they possible. The education covers the physical conditions behind the disease and the possible measures on immunization, genetic counseling and treatment.
Another article on sickle cell disease is a research on the number of mortality resulting from sickle cell in a region in Africa. The article is written by Iris Schrijver from the Medicine department in Stanford University. This article is based on the World Health organization concern that Sickle Cell anemia has become a world problem with more half of the average six million births annually fail to reach teenage age because of sickle cell (FindArticles.com, 2011). While the disorders’ rate has been reducing in United Kingdom and United States, the rates are rapidly increasing in most parts of Africa. This alarming situation has called for the need of implementation and interventions to check on the worrying situation. The article explains the situation in Africa as to result from the lack of appropriate information. The article is based on a research to come up with the factors and incidence of the deaths caused by Sickle Cell anemia in Dar-es-Salaam which is the capital city of Tanzania a country in East Africa.
To come up with practical results, the article covers a research carried out on the ground in one of the hospitals in Dar-es-laam in the period between 2004 and 2009. The findings of the research were that most of the mortality that was recorded occurred to children less than five years. The article associates these deaths to low hemoglobin among patients and high bilirubin. The other factors are lack of information about the disease among parents and children as well as under utilization of the health facilities and survive. The article ends by suggesting further research in order to find out the pathophysiology, etiology and possible strategies of managing the disorder.
On the journal on alternative treatment of sickle cell anemia by Shirley Vanderbit focuses mainly on the treatments of the toddler disorder. Sickle Cell anemia has adverse and severe body damages, pain and anemia. The article researched on the methods that have been used in the recent past including hydration, pharmacology and blood transfusions. These past methods have been facing one major challenge and that is the limited resources. It is because of this failure of the existing treatment method that led to researchers to seek better and effective treatment methods. The article features better methods that can be used to serve as alternatives to the already existing ineffective methods. Some of the alternative methods include stem cell and bone transplants.
A part from the recent breakthrough in the medical field concerning treatment of the deadly sickle cell anemia, the article still gives room for new and better treatment approaches. Most of the research is being focused on the pain caused by sickle cell anemia with alternative medicine and complimentary being adopted like the nonpharmacological methods. The alternative treatment as covered in this article include acupuncture, hypnosis that are biofeed-assisted, training in cognitive behavioral, progressive relaxation and nerve stimulation that is done electrically (FindArticles.com, 2001). This journal also identifies Africa as the origin and the most affected region. It further explains the process under which the blood cells go through to get sickled and the period in which the patients suffer from the disorder.
Vanderbit comes up with an additional treatment termed as adjunctive treatment and makes use of a pilot study to demonstrate it. The study involved a team of specialists who were out in the field to find out how progressive muscle relaxation and massage therapy can be used as an adjunctive treatment to sickle cell anemia. The results of the study indicate that there is a promising affect in the use of adjunctive interventions when it comes to reducing pain caused by sickle cell anemia. Massage can also be used to ease the pain according to the study conducted (FindArticles.com, 2001).
The three articles mentioned above have been written by different authors, at different periods of time, covering different issues but are all addressing the same Toddler disorder. Though the articles feature different issues about sickle cell anemia, there are similar issues that stood out in all the three articles. All the articles never failed to mention possible treatment methods and researches to find even better treatment methods. It is clear from the articles that Africa is the most affected region with the Africans and African Americans standing out as the most affected by the disease (Peterson, 2008). The articles also made it clear that the toddlers are the mostly affected by the disorder and that proper and better treatment and care methods should be researched on in order control the alarming rate. The process by which the hemoglobin in blood cells get sickled is also explained in the articles in order to make it easy for the researchers to understand the disease more. It is evident from the articles that there are still other better treatment methods that are yet to be discovered as each article had its own method or methods.
The severity of sickle cell anemia and the diversity of its impact in society pose the biggest challenge to every member of the society. It is this situation that calls for more research to be conducted in this medical field. The research should be concentrated on drugs to treat the disease. Possible break through include the development of laboratory mice that serve as specimens for testing new sickle cell treatment. Bone marrow transplantation has gained popularity in the recent past but it has its own limitations. The marrow used has to be from a sibling donor that is healthy matched and also the process involves many risks. A number of drugs are currently under research and are expected to reduce sickle cell complications. These drugs include; decitabine, hydroxyurea and butyrate which increase the fetal levels of hemoglobin. Other promising drugs include, Clotrimazole, Nitric oxide and L-arginine (Peterson, M., (2008). Great medical progresses are currently in progress to try reducing the serous complications associated with sickle cell anemia and improve individuals’ survival. However, there is more still to be done to come up with new treatments to improve further the quality of life of those affected by the disease.
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