How do we contract Sickle Cell Disease?
The normal hemoglobin is called “A” and the abnormal one “S”. Two people “AS” have a 1 in 4 risk with each pregnancy to give birth to a sick child “SS”.
Each one of us is the result of our parent’s genetic inheritance one being the one which codes the hemoglobin. There are three different situations:
- AA – Child inherits 2 normal genes (Father + Mother) no risk of SCD.
- AS – Child inherits of 1 normal gene and 1 abnormal: parent can transmit the disease without knowing it. This is why is it essential to receive a screening test called “hemoglobin electrophresis”. If both parents are AS, the risk of having a sick child is of 1 in 4 for each birth.
- SS – Child inherits of 2 abnormal genes. The most severe case of SCD.