Essay II

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Essay II "Practical Tips for Preventing a Sickle Cell Crisis" and Eleanor Mayfield's, "New hope for people with sickle cell anemia", are two articles that talk about prevention of sickle cell crises and possible cures for sickle cell anemia.

In the first article the definition of sickle cell anemia is hereditary problem that causes a type of faulty hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The red blood cells are disc-shaped and very flexible. Mayfield says that it is a genetic default that causes the anemia to affect the hemoglobin. Red blood cells that have normal hemoglobin are soft and round. Their soft texture allows them to squeeze through small blood vessels. Mayfield gives a more in-depth look at the definition of what sickle cell anemia is. To further explain, Mayfield states that the genetic default makes the hemoglobin molecules stick in long ridged rods after they released the oxygen.

The rods cause the blood cells to have a sickle shape, which is unable to squeeze through the small blood vessels. The blockage that occurs deprives the body's cells and tissues of blood and oxygen. The first article says the same but in a simpler way staying with less technical terms.

What is a crisis? Both articles ask. The first article says that the blockages in the small blood vessels cause theses crises. One who has anemia could have pain in the back, knees, legs, arms, chest or stomach. The pain differs form person to person also how often it occurs. Mayfield best describes a crisis as having mini heart attacks throughout the entire body. A heart attack happens due to blood flow to the heart being interrupted. With sickle cell anemia blood flow can be interrupted to any of the major organs causing severe pain and organ damage. The...