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What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In sickle cell disease, the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle”. The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. Also, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems.

What causes sickle cell disease?

Sickle cell disease is a genetic condition that is present at birth. It is inherited when a child receives two sickle cell genes – one from each parent.

What are the symptoms and complications?

People with sickle cell disease start to have symptoms during the first year of life, usually around 5 months of age. Symptoms and complications of sickle cell disease are different for each person and can range from mild to severe. They include: Hand-foot syndrome, pain episodes, anemia, infection, acute chest syndrome, splenic sequestration, vision loss, leg ulcers, and stroke.

Is there a cure?

The only cure for sickle cell disease is a bone marrow/stem cell transplant.


The ASISickle Cell Test is intended to be used as an aid in the qualitative detection of hemoglobin S (Hb-S) in anticoagulated whole blood. The test does not distinguish between sickle cell disease (Hb-S/S) and sickle cell trait (Hb-S/A). This test is not recommended for use on newborns under 3 months of age. These materials are intended to be acquired, possessed and used only by health professionals.


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