Hemoglobinopathy and Sickle Cell Anemia: Signs and Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of sickle cell anemia?

Children with sickle cell disease generally are anemic, meaning they have low numbers of red blood cells. Some children do well, but others suffer with frequent painful crises (periods of pain), chest problems, gallstones, dead bone, infections and sometimes stroke. Children with sickle cell anemia should avoid cold, dehydration and high altitudes to help prevent becoming very ill.

What are the signs and symptoms of thalassemia?

People with thalassemia may be so anemic that they need regular red blood cell transfusions. If the thalassemia or sickle cell disease is mild, the person may not even be aware they have it (but the person is at risk of having a child with more severe problems).