I'm Dr. Nirmish Shah, and I'm Director of the Sickle Cell Transition
Program at Duke University Hospital. I take care of both kids and
adults with sickle cell disease. [MUSIC] So a common question is what
is sickle cell disease? And the answer is it's a genetic disorder,
meaning you're born with this. It's something you get from your parents,
both mom and dad. And when you're born with it, the change
that you have is with your blood cells. The red blood cells themselves
are normally round. It's kinda like a jelly doughnut,
they're really nice and squishy. But with sickle cell disease, the small little change that your genes
have cause those cells to change from that little squishy jelly doughnut
into a sickled shape. And that sickled shape is
kinda jagged on one side and actually can get stuck very easily
in the small blood vessels.

And that's a problem. If blood doesn't get to where it needs to
go, if that blood cell has changed its shape and gotten stuck,
it causes a whole cascade of issues. If blood doesn't get to the bones,
it can hurt, and so one of the most common symptoms that you can have with
sickle cell is to have some pain. If you don't get blood to your lungs,
then it's what we call acute chest and it's a severe complication.

If you don't get blood to your kidneys,
you can have kidney damage. So really every organ can be
affected by sickle cell disease. So we have to watch really closely. In sickle cell disease,
it's always best to be ahead of the curve. We wanna make sure we know
what's potentially coming. And by doing so and
having you follow closely with us, we're gonna watch you like a hawk, because
we wanna make sure we pick up on those issues before they become
more of a problem. What I need to do is make sure that
as you encounter a speed bump, as you have these difficulties that we
push you back on the path that pushes you into success to get you
what you want in life.

And that'd be a family,
to having a job, to go to school. So everyone walks a different journey,
but I think, really, the emphasis should be on how do we, as a medical team,
support you to get to where you wanna go? [MUSIC].



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here