Sickle Cell Disease

Sickled cells blocking a blood vessel

Normal red blood cells move easily through blood vessels, taking oxygen to every part of your body.

People who have sickle cell disease have mostly sickled red blood cells. These cells can get stuck and block blood flow through a blood vessel. That means red blood cells and oxygen can't flow to some parts of the body.

Current as of: September 23, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Donald Sproule MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Martin Steinberg MD - Hematology

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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