To coincide with World Sickle Cell Day (19 June) the Library currently has a display of books in the Reading Room on sickle cell disease (SCD) and other blood diseases. SCD affects millions of people worldwide and is a lifelong condition that can be fatal. SCD mainly affects people of African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Eastern Mediterranean and Asian origin. It is also one of the main causes of premature death in children under 5 yrs in several African countries. SCD is caused by an inherited faulty gene which affects the haemoglobin and results in distorted (sickled) red blood cells. The most serious type is sickle cell anaemia.
Symptoms of SCD include painful episodes called sickle cell crises, increased risk of serious infections, and anaemia causing tiredness and shortness of breath. SCD can also cause delayed growth, vision problems, high blood pressure, strokes, kidney and urinary problems, bone and joint pain, and lung problems. Treatment of sickle cell mostly focuses on preventing and treating complications. The only possible cure for the disorder is a bone marrow transplant but this is only possible for a limited number of affected individuals who have a suitable donor. A medicine called Hydroxyurea can significantly reduce the number of painful crises.
The Library has a number of books focusing on SCD and other blood diseases. These books can be found at shelfmark PYHS, with related material in the broader section PY. Topics covered include clinical practice, management and therapy of the disease, genetics, and epidemiological studies of the disease. All books can be found by searching in Discover.