Copyright 2013-2015. Sickle Cell Association of Texas Marc Thomas Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

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What are the Symptoms?

Symptoms include, but are not limited to:  abdomen and chest pain, fatigue, breathlessness, delayed growth, jaundice, susceptibility to infections, leg ulcers, swollen extremities, stroke and fever.  In addition, symptoms may also include pneumonia, gallstones, swelling of hands and feet, problems during pregnancy, painful erections in men, organ damage, kidney failure and other serious ailments.

Detection Methods

• Screening for sickle cell disease using a simple blood test

• Newborn Screening

Is there a cure?

There is no universal cure for Sickle Cell Disease.

Aggressive medical treatment is necessary. The focus of medical treatment is on prevention of infection, the decrease of symptoms and research. The most commonly used treatment is oxygen, fluids (oral and intravenous), antibiotics, and pain medication.  A drug called hydroxyurea, which raises fetal hemoglobin levels, it also reduces painful crises, acute chest syndrome and the need for frequent blood transfusions. However, none of these methods is a cure.  In some cases, bone marrow transplant and cord blood transplantation are recommended.

What is Sickle Cell Trait?

1 in 12 African Americans and 1 in 36 Hispanics carry the "silent" sickle cell trait.

People who inherit one sickle cell gene and one normal gene have sickle cell trait (SCT). People with SCT usually do not have any of the symptoms of sickle cell disease (SCD), but they can pass the trait on to their children. Although, in rare cases people with sickle cell trait may have more severe complications.

What Research is available?

New research, up and coming prescription medication, medical treatments, clinical trials and other research is slowly becoming more available for sickle cell disease patients. As certified hemoglobinopathy educators and as an agency member for the SCDAA, we directly aid in research for a potential cure. Please contact our agency and subscribe to our email to learn more about upcoming research and developments regarding sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait.