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Understanding the Disease

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a genetic disease of the red blood cells. It is characterized by painful episodes, lower resistance to infections, organ damage, anemia, joint degeneration, strokes, and other health problems. SCD occurs when a child inherits a hemoglobin gene that sickles from both parents. In this case, the child is born with the disease.


Sickle Cell Trait (SCT) occurs when a child inherits a normal hemoglobin gene and a sickle gene. This results in a carrier of the sickle cell gene. SCT is harmless. The concern about the trait is that this abnormal gene can be passed to a child.