What is Sickle Cell Disease?

The difference of Normal red blood cell and sickle cell.

Sickle cell disease causes “sickle” shaped red blood cells.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder that causes “sickle” shaped red blood cells that can stick together, blocking blood flow and oxygen from reaching all parts of the body. People with SCD can experience pain, anemia, infection, and other serious health problems (also known as complications) that may require care by a healthcare provider. Below are a variety of resources people with SCD and their caregivers may find helpful.

Resources for Patients and Caregivers

  • SCD materials webpage has fact sheets and infographics on living well with SCD. SCD resources are also available in Spanish at our SCD Spanish webpage.
  • Sickle Cell Trait Toolkit is a collection of fact sheets covering various health problems affecting people with sickle cell trait.
  • Stepping Up: A 2-part video series for teenagers and young adults with SCD. The videos share the stories of Kevin and Calvanay, two young adults with SCD, and their transition to adult care, how it has affected them, and how they’ve overcome challenges. Spanish transcripts of the videos are available online.
  • SCDC webinars, hosted by the SCDC program in California, are free and open to the public. Watch previous recordings or sign up to join the email list for announcements about upcoming webinars.
  • Steps to Better Health Toolkit is a collection of health guidance materials for people with SCD based on the ASH Clinical Practice Guidelines on Sickle Cell Disease.  These materials include information about the common complications of SCD and how patients can manage their health.
  • Real Stories of People Living with SCD is a collection of personal stories shared by people who have SCD to increase awareness of the disease, show support, and offer tips for others recently diagnosed with the condition.
  • 5 Facts You Should Know About SCD Infographics (information graphics) are graphic pictures of data, information or knowledge that tell a story. Check out this infographic to learn important facts about SCD.
  • Sickle Cell Has Many Faces video for a general audience. Watch people with SCD of diverse backgrounds share that SCD can affect anyone, no matter what you look like or where your family comes from.
  • A Message for Healthcare Providers: Sickle Cell Has Many Faces video targets healthcare providers, community workers, policymakers, and other SCD supporters to increase their awareness of the fact that SCD affects diverse groups so that all people with SCD can be properly diagnosed and treated.