Currently sickle cell anemia is incurable, but proper medical care can prevent its effects.
Most states in the United States and some hospitals in Canada now have a simple blood test automatically performed on all at-risk newborns. This test is done simultaneously and with the same blood samples as other routine newborn tests. The electrophoresis of hemoglobin “hemoglobin electrophoresis” is the most used. Routine prenatal screening is already done in Ontario. If the results show the presence of sickle hemoglobin, a second blood test will be administered to confirm the diagnosis. These tests can also show whether the child carries the gene for the disease.
Acknowledgment: Certain information on this page is courtesy of: John K. Wu, MBBS, MSc, FRCP (C)
British Columbia Children’s Hospital and British Columbia Women’s Hospital & Health Center