PHILIPSBURG – The month of September is recognized as Sickle Cell Awareness Month. The Sint Maarten Sickle Cell Foundation is reminding the people of Sint Maarten about the importance of being tested for the disease.
It is an inherited disease that causes red blood cells to form an abnormal crescent shape.
Frequent blood transfusions are one of the most popular treatments for the disease, which have been shown to be effective when treating severe complications from sickle cell disease such as strokes and damage to major organs. Severe complications may lead to severe infections. The amount of normal blood cells increases when having blood transfusions as the cells obtain oxygen all over the body and the blood vessels are then unblocked.
The foundation hopes that Sint Maarten will one day have and embrace community blood drives where the community can donate blood to save lives. According to the Red Cross.org blood donor transfusions of the same ethnicity are often most beneficial because they have less chance of causing complications for the recipient. During this month the Sint Maarten Sickle Cell foundation will continue to educate the public about the disease.
For more information about the foundation and sickle cell disease call 5548182.